Augusta, Ga. (WJBF) - Monday through Friday you can catch Annettea Mills at Diamond Lakes Elementary where she works as a paraprofessional. But ask anyone who knows her and they would say she's much more.
"I had heard about her before I came here because Save Our Students, S.O.S., was a district-wide program. I just didn't realize how much she had to offer," said Dr. Cheri Ogden, Principal at Diamond Lakes Elementary School.
That program is something Anettea started 5 years ago after her young nephew was gunned down while working.
"When my nephew passed, me and God kind of had a talk and it was eye-opening, and He told me 'Mills it's time, it's time for you to step up and be the voice,' " said Anettea Mills, Founder of CSRA Saving Our Students, Incorporated.
And a voice she is. With the help of countless volunteers, her organization, CSRA Saving our Students Incorporated, focuses on educating students and parents on the effects of bullying and low self-esteem in a child.
"Our parents...some of them just don't have the means to get the education. So if I'm willing to go to your home and share it with you and get you the help that you need and the resources, that is really what it's all about," said Mills.
Annettea now holds at least 2 events a month. And what started out with about 25 people in attendance now has well over 100.
"Have you all saved students?" asked Barclay Bishop, WJBF NewsChannel 6.
"Yes, ma'm, oh yes ma'm. We saved one the very first event. And you know since then, we have really saved a lot. I mean we've had some that have tried suicide," replied Mills.
"She is tremendous in her work with students who have self-esteem issues and who need someone to remind them that they're awesome," said Dr. Ogden.
Dubbed "The General", Annettea says her work is just beginning. That she and her army are simply boots on the ground to help young students before it's too late.
"I'm not going to back down. I said what I was going to do and I meant what I was going to do. And you know I don't let anyone get in my way. If you can't do what I need you to do then I'm going to go to the next person. I have no problem going out and asking now...none," said Mills.
Annettea says as the new year approaches their big focus will be on self-esteem issues with girls between 3rd and 5th grade.
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