As Henry County experiences a great deal of growth and development, we can attribute much of its upward transformation to those who serve our community. A long-term citizen of 79 years, Coreda Shaw has seen our community transform into a relatively fast-paced area where the dirt roads of Henry County are certainly a thing of the past. Through her own active style of philanthropy, Shaw tirelessly works to identify specific needs in our community in order to make a huge impact in the lives of others.
For quite some time Shaw has remained a vital member of the education system in Henry County, playing a fundamental role in shaping the lives of students. Initially, Shaw began serving others in the community as a high school teacher. With a strong desire to further support students in the areas of academic achievement, personal progress, and career development, she went to graduate school to become a guidance counselor. For 40 years she worked diligently to aid students with the academic and personal challenges they faced. She focused much of her energy on influencing and counseling students so they would achieve their fullest educational potential.
After dedicating her life to students as a guidance counselor, Shaw continues to pursue her passion for helping students blossom into well-rounded, successful individuals. Now she continues her passion at Georgia College and State University where she talks with the Georgia College Early College (GCEC) students about excelling in school, maintaining successful study and testing habits, applying to college, and finding financial aid opportunities.
Within Henry County Schools, Shaw speaks with high school students about striving for success both during and after high school. She serves on the Henry Youth Leadership Program Board, which is a program for 10th grade students designed to improve their leadership skills and educate them about Henry County. Also, she recruits 11th grade students to represent the American Legion Unit and Auxiliary where they take part in Georgia Boys State and Girls State, an event that many political leaders attended during high school.
Although Shaw dedicates much of her time, energy, and knowledge to offer advice and wisdom to youth in Henry County Schools, she manages to extend her generosity even further. Since the 1990’s, Shaw has endowed support in the form of financial scholarships to select high school students after graduation each year. Her inspiration for the donation of these scholarships originates from her desire to influence what these students achieve in life. Her intention is to let them know she recognizes their achievements and believes in them. She finds this type of support very rewarding. Students frequently tell her they would not be where they are today if she had not helped them with money or advice.
Coreda Shaw has an undying effect on students in Henry County. She wants to leave behind a legacy of community service and volunteer work, encouraging youth within the community. She hopes her example of volunteering in the various local community organizations will be passed along to those she has helped.
Coreda believes the more you give to someone else, the more blessings you have. And of all the advice she has offered during her life in Henry County, her greatest words of wisdom are: “be positive and be grateful—try to do something every day that shows gratitude for something.”
written by: Laura Lee