Some would say being a mom, wife, business owner, church member and community volunteer, all while holding down a full time job might be a little overwhelming.
But Chanda Daniels-Davis makes it look easy.
Born and raised in Rocky Mount, Daniels-Davis received a degree in communications from N.C. State. Daniels-Davis had originally planned to be a teacher, but realized her true passion after her uncle had a massive stroke while she was in college.
After seeing the positive effects of his recovery, she realized that she wanted to pursue a career in speech therapy.
“My uncle had made so much progress, and I just wanted to do what she did for my uncle,” she said, “I wanted to do that for someone else.” She later went on to get her master’s degree in speech language pathology from N.C. Central University.
After graduating from N.C. Central, Daniels-Davis came back to Rocky Mount, where she and her husband of five years helped raise her niece and nephew, as well as their 2-year-old son.
In 2006, Daniels-Davis opened her own nonprofit organization called Kids Speak Inc., which caters to children who are speech and language-impaired.
The organization addresses children who have issues with a variety of speech problems such as articulation, reading, language and swallowing.
Daniels-Davis also is very active in both Tau Gamma Delta Sorority Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
She is involved in a monthly program through the Delta organizaton called EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence).
The program seeks to address the plight of the African-American male through dialogue and recommendations for change and action. She also serves as the second vice president for Tau Gamma Delta Sorority Inc. and handles recruitment, fundraising and the local high school pageant.
Tau Gamma Delta Sorority Inc. President Melanie Hudson has known Daniels-Davis since elementary school and says she has been a vital asset to the organization.
“Anytime I call her she’s right there, a very hard worker,” said Hudson. “Anything that comes up, if she doesn’t know about it she’s the first to volunteer, she wants to do the research, she wants to find out the correct protocol.”
One program very special to Daniels-Davis is “Trunks for Success.”
The annual program helps prepare high school students for college, and was introduced to Tau Gamma Delta in 2008 at the national meeting in Chicago. Bonnie Miah, CEO of of the “Trunk Party, Inc.” of Chicago started the organization as a result of a young student who only had a trash bag to put his supplies in to carry to college.
“We contact all of the area high schools,” Daniels-Davis said.
“We talk with the counselors to identify students that would be continuing their education, whether it’s to a community college or university.”
“The counselors identify students who have a financial need. Once the counselors send the names of the students to us, we go out and contact the students and the parents and we supply them with a trunk full of supplies to assist them with their first year of college.” Daniels-Davis said.
This year’s “Trunks for Success” was a success with the organization distributing 13 trunks full of supplies to local high school students.
“She handled everything from the planning all the way through the end of the program, she did on her own,” said Hudson. “if you give her something to do, she’s going to do it. She’s going to do it with diligence, she’s going to make sure it’s perfect.”
Although this was the fifth time the Rocky Mount chapter of Tau Gamma Delta had put together “Trunks for Success,” this was the first time that Daniels-Davis chaired the program.
She set a personal goal for herself to assist more students this year, and to increase community awarness of the program. Normally, there is one student selected from each school in the Nash and Edgecombe County areas totaling 10 students in all.
Although putting the program together was challenging and time consuming at times, Daniels-Davis said it was rewarding and enjoyed networking with individuals in the community.
“The most difficult challenge was obtaining the names of the recipients from all the area high schools. It required constant communication between each school’s senior counselor in order to select the recipients that would qualify for the program,” Daniels-Davis said.
“This program allows me to contribute my time, finances, and my heart to those students who embark on the journey of continuing their education beyond high school. It is such a humbling experience.” Daniels-Davis said.
One Day at a Time
A typical summer day for Daniels-Davis involves spending time with her son and making sure her duties in the community are filled, but her busiest time is during the school year.
She works during the day, picks her son up from school, dances on the adult dance ministry team at Word Tabernacle Church and is a part of a book club she helped start called Expressions Book Club.
The book club meets once a month.
“She is always so very helpful...very hands on and caring” said fellow Expressions Book Club member Quasha McNeal. “She has really been one of the dedicated members of the book club.”
Daniels-Davis identifies herself as a Christian and is very active in the church.
She heads the New Spirit Dance Ministy which caters to girls in kindergarten through fifth-grade and performs in the church as well as in the community.
Daniels-Davis knows how hard balancing a career and home life can be. It’s challenging and tiring.
Daniels-Davis recommends taking care of yourself, listening to your body and having a good support system.
“If we get to a point where we are doing too much, then we’re not really being an effective mom, or an effective wife or an effective volunteer”, she said. “Take some time out every now and again, treat yourself, pamper yourself and then jump back into it.”
She credits her sister, mother, friends, husband and colleagues as being her support system.
“You want to have that support system at work and at home,” Daniels Davis said.
When she is not writing reports, working on a project, or treating students, Chanda likes to do “absolutely nothing”.
“It doesn’t sound like much, but getting a busy woman to stop and do absolutely nothing, it is a hard thing for us to do. But it’s necessary,” she said.
To find out more about EMBODI visit www.deltasigmatheta.org
, and for more on “Trunks for Success” visit taugammadeltasororityinc.com