Augusta, GA -
The first Monday of the month means it's time to surprise another outstanding community volunteer: a woman they call "The General" at Diamond Lakes Elementary School.
Annettea Mills is an educator by day and the voice for "Saving Our Students" by night!
Through her efforts, CSRA SOS educates students and community groups on Bullying, Violence, and Gun Awareness. Her tireless work has earned an award from the League of Visionaries and the Dr. Mark Luther King National Recognition for Dedication, Commitment, and Passion. And that's why "The General" is this month's Giving Your Best winner.
It's a passion motivated by personal tragedy.
On March 11, 2012 Annettea's nephew, James Gillette, was murdered at Belair Conference Center in Evans, GA.
"And since then, I've started an organization, CSRA Saving Our Students. Here in Richmond County we wrote a pilot program for our students, we go out in the community and talk about bullying, domestic violence, whatever is on the mind of the adult who wants us to put on a program, that's what we do."
Husband Brian Mills says he knew The General was a take-charge type when he married her, and he's proud of her commitment to kids.
"She was a teacher when I met her and I know her kids come first. I didn't know it was gonna be like this- but I'm proud of her anyway!"
And now Annettea's efforts are even broader: starting a bullying academy.
"I don't know what else to say, but, we're making a change in Richmond County. We're getting ready to open our first bullying academy; we've raised our money, we've picked a place, and now we're getting ready to write a grant for that building- and we're going to move forward with the bullying academy."
Honoring her late nephew... by building hope for the future.
"All in the name of these kids. These students deserve a better live and we're trying hard to give it to them."