Sufiy James Davis ’00 Puts Service First
In true Wittenberg “Pass It On” tradition, Sufiy Davis has dedicated herself to helping others since graduation. In her current capacity with Medco Pharmaceutical in Columbus, Ohio, Davis evaluates patient concerns. Prior to this post, Davis offered a safe atmosphere for children as a childcare provider, which followed her time with St. Vincent Family Center, also in Columbus.
At St. Vincent, Davis provided crisis intervention support and linked families with community resources. She has also pursued social work with Youth Challenges in Springfield, where she created effective treatment plans for children ages three to eight with emotional and psychological disorders. Her time with Youth Challenges followed her work as a literary service leader with the Americorps-affiliated City Year Columbus.
Two years ago, her desire to serve even captured the attention of Oprah Winfrey. Following the 2006 release of Pursuit of Happyness, based on a true story in which Will Smith portrays a once-homeless single father who eventually becomes a successful stock broker, Davis was moved to help the homeless in her hometown. Inspired by a previous Oprah Winfrey Show titled “Pay It Forward,” Davis started
taking approximately 10 people each week from area homeless shelters to see the film.
Davis then e-mailed Winfrey via her Web site and received a response offering a camcorder to record what she was doing. After providing the footage, the show’s producers decided to send a camera crew to Columbus to film Davis and her family with the homeless residents at one of the film’s showings.
“Personally, Wittenberg tattooed the desire to give back and genuinely do for others,” Davis said. “Since then, volunteering has been a part of my family’s DNA.”
Her alma mater recently recognized her service efforts by awarding her an Alumni Citation Award during Homecoming Weekend 2008, Oct. 10-12. Josephine Wilson, Keil Professor of Psychology, presented Davis with the award.
“Wittenberg meant the world to me,” Davis said. “It was an amazing, life-changing experience. I have often said it is the only period in my life, next to my wedding day, that I want to relive.”