Texas State alumna nominated for
2011 Do Something Awards
Taryn Guerrero Davis, a Texas State University alumna, is one of five honorees nominated to receive the 2011 Do Something Award. The prize — a $100,000 grant — is given annually by DoSomething.org to a young person, under age 25, who has shown commitment to social change. The winner, selected by online voting, will be announced during a live VH1 broadcast of the ceremony Aug. 18.
Davis was recognized as a finalist by DoSomething.org in May when she received the nomination along with a $10,000 grant to the nonprofit she founded, The American Widow Project (AWP).
In 2007, when she was just 21, Davis received the devastating news that her husband, Texas State alum Cpl. Michael Davis, had been killed in Iraq. In the wake of this tragedy, Davis says she began to discover that resources were scarce for young military widows.
“The scars and damage left on a widow after the loss of her husband can’t be seen with the naked eye, making it even more difficult for them to receive and reach out for support,” Davis says.
Four months after learning of her husband’s death, Davis began work on a documentary, speaking to military widows across the country, and hearing their stories. The experience gave her a new sense of purpose, she says. The documentary was shown to military widows who came from all over the United States to Austin, Texas, in July 2008, for the official launch of AWP.
AWP provides resources to the 3,000-plus women around the country whose husbands have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The national movement has served and united over 800 widows so far, using peer-to-peer retreats, counseling, and online services and tools.
“I want to make sure no military widow ever feels alone and that they know they can hold that title with pride and honor,” Davis says. If selected for the grand prize Do Something Award, Davis says she and AWP will be able to reach out to more of the 3,000 military widows from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.