The non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education announced that it will bestow its first-ever TRIO Family Achievement Award to the four Davis sisters and their mother, Mae Alice Davis, at its Annual Conference, September 15, in New York City. COE chose the Davis family as an inspiring example of how federal educational support lifts up not only low-income and first generation individuals, but entire families.
The four Davis sisters entered the college preparation program Upward Bound while attending public school in Central Falls, R.I. during the 1970s and 1980s. Several of the sisters went on to participate in Student Support Services as well. Both Upward Bound and Student Support Services are part of the federal TRIO programs, which provides access and supportive services to students from low-income families whose parents often have no college degree. All the Davis siblings went on to attend college.
Internationally-known actress and producer Viola Davis has won an Academy Award, a Tony Award and an Emmy for acting. Dianne Davis Wright is a career civil servant of more than 35 years who works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture office of the assistant secretary for Civil Rights. Deloris Davis Grant, who has been an educator for more than 20 years, teaches drama and English at Central Falls High School, the same school from which she and her sisters graduated. Anita Davis, who attended school for business, has recently returned to college to earn a degree in social work. Mae Alice Davis, the Davis sisters' mother, is a proud matriarch of six children and 13 grandchildren.
"The success of the Davis sisters is a prime example of why federal support for education is an investment that strengthens families and communities," said Maureen Hoyler, President and CEO of the Council. "When one sibling enrolls in a program like Upward Bound and goes onto college, frequently younger brothers and sisters, and even parents, follow. Everyone benefits — especially our country. That's why we are so thrilled to present this award to the Davis family. They are an inspiration."