|Graduating Berkeley College student Magnolia Davis of Paterson, NJ, age 34, has served as a volunteer for New Jersey Courts Passaic Vicinage working with youth for 21 years. (Berkeley College photo)|
Urban News Staff Reports
Magnolia Davis began volunteering as an intern for New Jersey Courts Passaic Vicinage Juvenile Probation more than 20 years ago, when she was in high school. As an intern, she learned how to write grants. As time went on, Davis continued to demonstrate how much she cared for her community through many more volunteer efforts, working with youth and organizations through the Community Service Administration of the New Jersey Courts. An awards ceremony scheduled on April 20, 2020, where Davis would have been recognized by Passaic County Superior Court Judge Ernest M. Caposela for her 21 years of service, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We watched her grow and give of herself and go on to greater things,” said Dawn Moody, Chief Probation Officer, Passaic Vicinage. “You did not have to ask her. She would ask, ‘How can I help?’” That selfless attitude began a relationship for Davis to contribute as a volunteer to a number of groups serving the greater Paterson, NJ, community. She worked with youth and nonprofit agencies planting trees and cleaning up parks, even on weekends. She helped with book bag giveaways and food kitchens, teen summits and groups of young women.
It is no wonder that today, as she celebrates graduating with Honors from Berkeley College with an Associate’s degree in Justice Studies – Criminal Justice at age 34, two months pregnant, and the mother of a 14-year-old son, who will soon celebrate his own graduation from junior high school, she feels proud.
As students together, Davis and her son formed a united front to make virtual education adjustments. Berkeley College provided the resources to help her through the transition to online with virtual Academic Advisement, virtual tutoring, virtual course sessions, and access to professors via email, phone, and the learning system Canvas. According to Davis, the most important things during this time are having a structure, a workspace and routine, as well as taking care of yourself.
“Scheduling a few moments for one’s self during the day is pivotal for self-care,” Davis said.
She plans to continue her college career in a dual Bachelor’s and Master’s degree program, on her way to achieving her career goal to working in the field of forensic science. “I am leading by example and showing my son that hard work pays off,” she said.
Davis was determined to complete her course requirements to graduate from Berkeley College at the end of the winter semester. She managed a large course load of 18 credits, and continued to serve the community as an intake volunteer for juvenile probation prior to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. A recent inductee to Phi Theta Kappa, the National Society of Leadership and Success, she also had been involved with extracurricular activities on campus and consistently recognized on the Dean’s or President’s Lists because of her 3.68 GPA.