BRAZOS VALLEY, Texas — There are so many incredible women in the Brazos Valley working hard to make a difference.
In honor of Women's History Month, here are the stories of two of them.
Teachers play a major role in our lives and although her career goals weren't always education... Kristi Hancock said becoming an Art teacher in Bryan gives her the chance to see the best in every student!
“Do I get to keep it? Did you draw me? Thank you," Hancock said to a student.
Sometimes those students are fellow teachers – learning from Hancock about ways to be effective in the classroom and how to build connections with students.
Hancock’s efforts earned her the 2012 George Bush Presidential Library Educator of the Year Award and the chance to even meet Barbra Bush.
But most of all—She loves all the fun and silly moments with students.
“Getting an award is one thing, but when kids show up at your house, so you can pull a tooth on Christmas Eve, I mean that's cool right? That's the good stuff. I've got to do what I can every day, every day is just as important as any other day," she said.
There's room to learn outside the classroom too—Which is why Leslie Davis established the local non-profit, A Reason to Dream, back in 2020— helping children grow their potential as leaders.
"My hopes for the kids are although we live in a rural area, a rural community, there is a lot out there that's available to you, but you have to be able to explore it,"
"You have to be able to able to take that opportunity when it's given to you and take advantage of it."
Davis said growing up, she wishes she had opportunities the non-profit provides because she believes it builds character in young people.
“I get to organize and orchestrate all these different events, the experience is breathtaking. To witness these kids smile and enjoy the workshops and training that we do, it's amazing," Davis said.
Through their passion and drive, both Hancock and Davis are helping children thrive.
Hancock said it's great seeing kids when they're relaxed, happy or working through stuff.
She said it's important everyone feels successful in the room, which has given her a new perspective on teaching.
Davis said the various educational experiences offered by A Reason to Dream allows kids across the Brazos Valley to open up, form friendships, plan for their future, give back, and try something new.
The non-profit also awards academic and community-based scholarships to high school seniors.