2003 Champions

Champions by Year

Alicia Davis

Alicia Davis

“One of the advantages of going back to school as an older student is the life experience you have to help you. My life experiences made it easier for me to understand things … and you learn that other people need you.”


In September 2000, at the age of 80, Alicia Davis accepted a request from the Women’s Club at the University of New Orleans to participate in their effort to make college available to adults who wanted an opportunity to return to school. It’s no surprise that Alicia was specifically recruited for this effort. After all, she was 70 when she got her first college degree, a bachelor’s in English Literature. She got a second bachelor’s degree in Spanish at age 71 and a master’s in Foreign Languages at age 74. At the age of 75, Alicia entered the doctoral program of Urban and Public Affairs at UNO, earning her Ph.D. at the age of 80, along with the nickname “Doctor Grandma.”

While attending school, Alicia fast became a resource for foreign students having trouble with their English skills. Having grown up in Honduras, she knew how it felt to be in a different country far from home. “I met with a number of foreign students once or twice a week just to talk, and if someone just could’t understand something in English I would talk to them in Spanish. For those who didn’t speak Spanish either, I would get creative and use catalogs to help me through some of the language barriers.”

So what does Alicia do with her “free time”?: She shares her gift of communication through AARP, where she volunteers her time doing tax returns for those in need. She remains active with the UNO Women’s Club and the American Association of University Women, another organization devoted to promoting education for women. And just to make sure she stays in touch with what’s happening, Alicia is going back to school again next year to take a class on world cultures. That’s passion. That’s Alicia Davis – your game seven Peoples Health Champion.