October Volunteer of the Month: Stephanie Davis
Stephanie Davis is an advocate, a philanthropist and a mentor. The former executive director of Atlanta Women’s Foundation and Georgia Women for a Change, Stephanie has led a life committed to women’s rights and support.
She recently joined our English at Home program as a mentor and has served with our Civic Engagement program by assisting with voter registration at naturalization ceremonies. She also plans to work in election protection ahead of the November election.
The English at Home program, primarily serving women, draws many female volunteers wanting to serve with a friend. Stephanie and her friend, Margo Smith, realized that their time spent on movie nights and garden visits could be better used to empower women in the refugee community. After going through English at Home’s orientation, they were paired with two Bhutanese sisters-in-law.
It is common for our English at Home volunteers to become more than tutors, as many of them introduce their children to their mentee’s children, going on field trips to places around the city. Stephanie quickly became more than a tutor. In one situation, Stephanie coached her mentee’s husband through a call with AT&T to negotiate a phone bill. She said the phone conversation was the “most successful” negotiation she had ever heard, and AT&T awarded a well-deserved discount. This technique of calling business has been incorporated in English at Home’s orientation.
Stephanie emphasizes how important it is to be fully engaged during serving. She says that she strives to teach English while involving her mentee in the community. She and Margo decided to take their mentees to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for a ladies’ day out. The goal of the day was to visit somewhere new, but the experience was so much more. The two mentees had not been away from their families since they arrived in the U.S., and they found themselves filled with curiosity, wonder and amazement. Being able to facilitate learning such as this is one of the most rewarding parts of volunteering with New American Pathways.
Stephanie also strongly encourages the need for giving. “Giving is the highest form of living,” Stephanie says. We couldn’t agree more.