Under Davis’ guidance, members of the college
Rotaract Club fixed up and donated a truck to the
orphanage. “After that project, we realized how our
lives, and what we choose to do with them, can have
an impact on people hundreds of miles away,” says
Rotaract President Nicole Richards, 21.
“He challenges [students] to think about service
and not just what teens normally think of—
themselves,” says Douglas Mummaw, Rotaract advisor
and past president of The Rotary Club of Boca Raton.
For the charter school, Tomorrow’s Promise, Davis
has used his Rotary connections to raise more than
$100,000. And Principal Marjorie Waldo says the impact Davis has made on her and the students is even
more remarkable than the dollars.
“Ken has completely changed the complexion of
the work that I’ve been doing for decades,” Waldo
says. “He is a mentor to me. He is a mentor to the kids.
He talked to me about how to be more successful as a
nonprofit. He changed everything.”
Perhaps most important for at-risk kids, Davis
coaches and supports students who need help. Wal-
do says that in addition to tutoring, Davis drives stu-
dents to after-school and scholarship events. He has
even made calls to landlords of his students’ families
to help them get back on track with rent payments.
“He parents them a little bit,” she says. “People
from poverty often have a di;erent view of life—they
try to keep their heads above water and survive. Ken
is teaching [these students] how to save money and
look to college as a long-term solution rather than to
a first job because mom needs rent. He tries to im-
part his wisdom for the long term.”
Desir recently discovered that Davis is still there
for her, even two years after her high school gradu-
ation. After a devastating car accident forced her to
drop out of school, Davis made sure the paperwork
from the hospital was sent to the college’s financial
aid o;ce, setting Desir up to reapply. “He taught me
there’s always a way,” says Desir, who wants to go
Davis says he hopes his actions will persuade
others to help those in need. “Don’t miss the joy of
your life, the joy of helping others like this,” he says.
“When you do good for others, you forget about the
problems you think you have.” ;
“Ken doesn’t just write checks. He wants to get to know the kids
as people and impact them and share what he has.” —Marjorie Waldo
Contact Ken Davis at
For more information
about the Rotary Club
of Boca Raton, visit
With students in Delray Beach, Fla.