MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Valarie Davis has thought a lot about what it means to be remarkable. To her, it means finally following her passion for making the world a better place.
“It’s a relentless pursuit of justice, equity. A pursuit and fairness in all areas of life. This commitment to children being able to be children and just discover who they were born to be with as few hindrances as possible,” said Valarie Davis in an interview with WDVM.
She says her experiences a single mom and losing a parent have shaped the way she sees the world. She wasn’t always sure of her path or her purpose, though, and turning 50 was a real pivotal moment for her.
After finding herself, she’s helping others do the same.
“I said, ‘You know what? I’m half a century old. I’m just gonna do Valarie. So, I decided to, prayerfully, let into my life all of the things I’m passionate about. I am doing more things than I’ve ever done, and it’s easier than it’s ever been,” Davis said.
One of her latest endeavors: forming a COVID-19 contact tracing company to help contain the spread of the virus, as part of her non-profit, ElevateHer.
She has employed and trained mostly Black women, with the goal of setting them up for success after the pandemic ends.
“We get Black women off of unemployment lines and the frontlines. We get them home so they can Zoom with their kids, up their technology skills so they can save their communities,” said Davis.
She’s helping women through ElevateHer, but she’s working to enrich the lives of young girls through her other ventures, too.
“I do not accept anything standing in the way of a child becoming just as brilliant and beautiful as they are,” said Davis.
Her work with Blossom, another non-profit, focuses on helping girls reach their goals.
“It helps them to dig into themselves. What are my gifts? What are my talents? What are my interests? It helps them to use those discoveries to guide all of their decisions,” said Davis.
A lifelong friend and a recent connection both nominated Valarie Davis for our Remarkable Women contest. They told WDVM why Davis’ ability take on tough problems makes her a “remarkable woman” in their eyes.
“When things didn’t go Valarie’s way, in her mind, she would problem solve and figure it out. She would. She had her condo, and something happened with the association and they wouldn’t fix the water. So. she went to law school so she could understand what it is they were saying and why she didn’t win her case,” said lifelong friend Denyse Dillon.
“There was, at Johns Hopkins, a free certification course that they offered for understanding contact tracing. Valarie wanted immediately to take that course, and out of that, not only came the idea for a business to support women of color, but she took that knowledge and joined five different reopening committees for Montgomery County Public Schools,” said Ashley Moss-Pham.
Valarie Davis is a very busy woman, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Valarie, you’re doing too much! Why don’t you just focus on one thing, so people think you’re really serious? You know.it’s really important so you develop depth,” said Davis of what people would say to her. “I have embraced the fact that that’s not who I am. I am not my best when I’m doing one single thing.””