Daily Point of Light # 2101 Feb 21, 2002

Gennifer Davis is a youth living in Appalachia. At 13 years of age, Gennifer was searching for a project for her Girl Scout Silver Award. She went to the local community center that serves underprivileged youth to assist them with their library. When Gennifer visited the center, she found it in utter disrepair. The ceilings were leaking, there were holes in the floor, and the ceiling tiles were falling. Their library was filled with books that were water damaged. She realized that providing books would not solve the problem the center was facing.

Gennifer completed another community service for her Silver Award, but she could not stop thinking about the community center, so Gennifer called her friends to help. They cleaned and painted the center. She was so excited about that bit of progress that she called the city for help, and they installed gutters and downspouts to stop the leaks. In addition to that, they paid to fix the floor. Gennifer and her helpers then went through the library and threw out the damaged books. They painted the library and received a donation from Emily Douglas of Grandma’s Gifts. They provided a truckload of books so the library could be restocked. Gennifer then held a penny drive to purchase pictures and beanbag chairs to decorate the library. She also received donations of two computer systems with color printers and scanners from Hewlett Packard and a set of encyclopedias from Britannica. Gennifer also convinced Sharon Davis to take on the director’s position at the center to ensure the youth were provided with quality programs, guidance, and the direction they needed.

Gennifer organized a group of friends to help a disabled neighbor. The volunteer work crew scraped off old paint and repainted her home. They replaced her roof and installed a fence. The supplies were purchased as a result of fundraising events organized by Gennifer.

Gennifer attended the National Youth Summit in Orlando this past year. When she returned home, she had a desire to motivate the youth of her community. Gennifer turned her passion into Focused Organized Resourceful Compassionate Energized Youth (FORCE), which is a volunteer youth program. FORCE has 22 members who are available to provide service projects throughout the year, be a voice for youth in their community, and to research philanthropy so they can continue to provide resources to other youth who want to make a difference in their community. Gennifer organized a local youth summit called Something to Say Yes To! and they worked with FORCE on Make a Difference Day.