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Anne Holton, Morgan Davis, Robin Sullenberger, Wendy Smith

Morgan Davis: An Advocate for Children

Mon Jun 10, 2019 at 02:29 PM

Anne Holton, Morgan Davis, Robin Sullenberger, Wendy Smith

Photo: L to R: Anne Holton (Former First Lady of VA, Tim Kaine’s wife, and founding director of the Great Expectations program), Morgan Davis, Robin Sullenberger (VCCS Board Chair), and Wendy Smith (BRCC Great Expectations Coach).

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” --Forest Witcraft, teacher/scholar

Morgan Davis did not let the circumstances of a difficult childhood hold her back. In fact, she drew strength and focus from her younger years to shape her career goals. She graduated from Blue Ridge Community College’s Human Services program in May, and is transferring to Mary Baldwin University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Social Work.

The difficulties Morgan experienced—hearing loss, a speech impairment, and time in foster care as a teenager—did not deter her but rather set her on a path to want to help others in similar situations. “I want to help children,” she says, “especially those with disabilities.”

During her studies at BRCC, which began in 2014, the Waynesboro High graduate worked two jobs, took three or four classes per semester, and raised her son, who will turn three in August. Scholarships she received through the Great Expectations program helped ease the financial burden. Developing a close connection with her Great Expectations Coach, Wendy Smith, also increased her chances of success in college.

“I think the Great Expectations program helped me be more successful,” Morgan says. “It was difficult juggling everything—work, motherhood, classes—but I’m glad I stuck with it.”

Morgan believes that everyone needs a strong advocate, and for her, that person was an elementary school teacher named Barbara Blevins. Morgan still gets emotional remembering how much it meant to have someone recognize and believe in her potential.

“The way she did her job really inspired me to work with children with disabilities,” Morgan says. “I want to be that advocate for other children, to make that kind of difference in their lives.”