TELEVISION PARK– As many in Tennessee continue to clean up from the damage the wildfires left behind – one Augusta woman is doing her part to help.
For years, Jean Vaught has made it her mission to help those in need. But when she saw the devastation in Gatlinburg, she immediately started collecting and delivering toys, clothes and any other resources those there needed.
It’s because of Jean’s selfless acts that she’s this month’s News Channel 6 Woman to Watch.
“If it were me that my house burnt down, or if it were me that lost my job. And it could be any of us in the blink of an eye that things change. I would hope that someone out there would want to make sure that I had the things that I needed to survive to bridge that gap between where I am and where I need to be in order to survive.”
Jean’s a teacher in Columbia County and even got her students involved in helping to raise thousands of dollars for those in Seiverville County, Tennessee.
NewsChannel 6’s Barclay Bishop joins us now with more on some amazing Women to Watch.
You know, bullying and students with low self-esteem is something we see all too often these days. And one Augusta educator has made it her mission to help bring an end to it, one student and parent at a time.
Monday through Friday you can catch Annettea Mills at Diamond Lakes Elementary where she works as a paraprofessional. But ask anyone who knows her, including Principal Dr. Cheri Ogend, and they would say she’s much more.
“I had heard about her before I came here because Save Our Students, SOS, was a district-wide program. I just didn’t realize how much she had to offer.”
That program is something Anettea started 5 years ago after her young nephew was gunned down while working.
“When my nephew passed, me and God kind of had a talk and it was eye-opening, and He told me ‘Mills it’s time, it’s time for you to step up and be the voice.’ ”
And a voice… she is. With the help of countless volunteers, her organization, CSRA Saving our Students Incorporated, focuses on educating students and parents on the effects of bullying and low self-esteem in a child.
“Our parents…some of them just don’t have the means to get the education. So if I’m willing to go to your home and share it with you and get you the help that you need and the resources, that is really what it’s all about.”
Annettea now holds at least 2 events a month ….And what started out with about 25 people in attendance now has well over 100.
B: “Have you all saved students?”
AM: “Yes, ma’m, oh yes ma’m. We saved one the very first event. And you know since then, we have really saved a lot. I mean we’ve had some that have tried suicide.”
Dr. Ogden/”She is tremendous in her work with students who have self-esteem issues and who need someone to remind them that they’re awesome.”
Dubbed “The General” … Annettea is says her work is just beginning…that she and her army are simply boots on the ground to help young students before it’s too late.
“I’m not going to back down. I said what I was going to do and I meant what I was going to do. And you know I don’t let anyone get in my way. If you can’t do what I need you to do then I’m going to go to the next person. I have no problem going out and asking now… none.”
Annettea says as the new year approaches – the big focus will be on self-esteem issues with girls between 3rd and 5th grade.
Do you know a woman worthy of being a Woman To Watch?
Nominate them by heading to our website WJBF dot com then clicking on the “Community” tab.