Who Are Local Heroes?
 
News imagePeople who, in the course of their everyday jobs or volunteer efforts,
prove that one person really can make a difference.

Regina Davis of New Hanover County is passionate about children -- so passionate that she
watches out for the well-being of more than 400 at a time. In December, she kept
478 in her sight.

The pay isn't great, and she hasn't had a raise in 10 years. But money is
not what keeps Mrs. Davis working tirelessly.

As the attorney advocate for New Hanover County's Guardian ad Litem
program, Mrs. Davis defends children who are neglected, dependent or abused as
deemed by the Department of Social Services.

"We go to court every Thursday," Mrs. Davis said. "There may be 20 cases
or more to look at in any one day."

Volunteer guardians assess children's needs, health and living conditions
and work with Mrs. Davis to decide what changes need to be made to better
serve the children. Mrs. Davis then argues for those actions in court.

"I feel like if there were not guardians, then the children would get
forgotten in the court process," she said.

This month, she will celebrate her 10th year with the guardian program.
New Hanover County has the fourth highest number of children in DSS care
in the state, according to Liz Kachris, the Guardian ad Litem district
administrator. In the past year, Mrs. Davis has argued more than 1,000
cases.

"I don't consider myself a hero," Mrs. Davis said. "I consider myself
someone who puts forth as much effort and as much care and as much time as is
needed to ensure that a child is protected."

Compassion is a trait Mrs. Davis said her grandmother instilled in her.
Mrs. Davis' mother died before she was 2 years old, and she and her four
sisters were raised by their grandparents.

(This was taken from a story by Sabrina S. Davis in the Star-News of Wilmington)
 
Publish Date: 01/31/2003