Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Mildred Collins was born in St. Kitts, West Indies, and received an excellent early education. As a child, her mother instilled in her a sense of civic mindedness. In 1931, at age 13, she joined the Girl Guides of St. Kitts and her spirit of volunteerism was born. With a burning desire to help the poor and the ill, Ms. Collins joined the Red Cross to accomplish her goal. As a volunteer she learned how to care for the sick , the hungry and the less fortunate from all walks of life. It was her volunteer work with the Red Cross that helped her realize her niche in life.
Ms. Collins was an academic major at the Basseterre Girls’ school in St. Kitts, and went on to begin her post graduate work and nursing career at the former Cunningham Hospital where she obtained a General Midwife Certificate from the Central Midwives Board of England. She continued her career at the Basseterre Sugar Factory Medical Center.
In the spring of 1957, Ms. Collins answered the call to service and went to St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands to help the people of the Island during a severe nursing shortage. Ms. Collins then moved to New York City and passed the New York State Board examination, received her license as a Registered Nurse and started working at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical College.
Ms. Collins never forgot her roots, and decided it’s time to give back by helping the people in her homeland, and those that helped her on her way up the ladder. Working overtime, holidays, nights and weekends, she earned extra cash to purchase used modern medical equipment and supplies and sent them back to Cunningham Hospital in St. Kitts.
On the 50th Anniversary of the Girl Guides organization, Ms. Collins personally donated toys and has sponsored many food drives over her lifetime. She has been a member of various community based organizations that support higher education, youth activities and rights of the poor. She tirelessly advocates for improved hospital and health care, veterans’ rights, transportation and zoning issues.
For her devotion to community service, she has been honored by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women Clubs, Inc. and holds numerous awards for meritorious service from New York Hospital. In addition, she has been chronicled in the New York Times, the Daily News, the Times/Ledger, and the Laurelton Times. In 2006, she was the recipient of the Senior of the Year award by Councilman James Sanders and the Community Activist Award by Elmer H. Blackburne Democratic Club.
Ms. Collins dedicated her life to the principles that her mother instilled in her as a child; to always share and help others.