Meet Davinna: Social Worker, Crime Preventer, Poet, Student, Warrior

Davinna is a passionate, focused woman who is a counselor and crime prevention advocate. Her story is so intriguing that we just had to share with you.  Let us start at the beginning Davinna…when did you know know you had sickle cell?

I was born with sickle cell, so I’ve known pretty much all my life. Being a professional and a student is tough and sometimes, it can be quite challenging.

How did your childhood and your parents influence you in your choice of career?

My sister getting locked up made me want to show my parents that they didn’t work in vain to get me the best they never had. I got into criminal justice but found that it was prevention that I loved. I’m a person you can talk to very easily. I love counseling.

What do you do? What kind of experience and schooling does one need to get your job? I am a social worker for the NYC Board of Education. I do programming and guidance as well. I have an associate of science in Criminal Justice and a B.A in Criminal Justice from Mitchell College. I have a dual specialization Masters in Criminology and Deviance and Juvenile Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and am finishing up a Clinical Social Work degree from Fordham University.

Wow, you are super busy Davinia! Don’t know how you have the energy to do it all. Describe a typical day on your job.

I do about 6 different positions at the school. I counsel, deal with Crisis Intervention, run groups, fix programming errors, do truancy outreach, Academic Planning, Post secondary planning and assist principal in all other needs

How do you manage SCD and still maintain a thriving career? Its very tough, I get sick alot and it takes away from the impression and job that I do. My job is also very stressful and high stress levels tend to cause crisis

Have you noticed a difference in how your coworkers treat you once they know you have SCD?

No, my personality doesn’t allow it to be as such.

Firecracker! I love it. What advice would you give to someone wanting to join your profession that has sickle cell? You have to face your own demons before you can help others.

Has sickle cell limited any areas of your life? Yes, I am scared I won’t be able to have kids and no one will want me due to my imperfectness. Sickle cell has put a strain on my personal life, but at the same time it lets you see who really is by your side through the good times and the bad times.

Davinna, you are perfect. He who began a good work in you will complete it. You may have to find a creative way to reach your dreams, but nothing is impossible…just don’t settle and keep the faith. When you do reach obstacles in your life, what helps you through it? Family, friends and instinct.

Do you have regular pain (more than 2x a week)? How do you cope with this when you are working? Yes, I currently have Avascular Necrosis and it’s been pain since February…non stop. Besides that, I just got better from pneumonia and constant leg pain.

What is your daily medication regimen and what medications do you take when you are in pain? Folic Acid and Percocet.

Looking at the 14 year old version of yourself, what would you tell him or her if you could…?

You are built that strong…….

Is there anything else that you would want to tell other sickle cell warriors?

I have a blog: where I write poetry and other postings. Feel free to visit my blog.

Thank you for sharing your story with us Davinna! You are a true warrior and just remember, keep pushing! You did not come this far to let it be for nothing. Sending  you love and encouragement.


Tosin Ola

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