VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -
Saturdaymorning, the black bag covering a portion of the street sign at the corner of Lee St. and Rogers St. was scheduled to be removed to reveal a new street sign, officially renaming Rogers Street as Minnie Martin Drive.
"I'm just honored to have this token of appreciation and I think, as everybody else said, 'Minnie, you deserve it,'" Martin said.
Minnie Martin was born and raised in Valdosta, but left for a few years to pursue her career. She came back to care for her mother a few years later, and has lived in her current house at 308 Rogers St. for the last 30 years running an in home daycare where she helped raise and care for hundreds of children.
She said all of the children how grown into adults and, as of Friday, all but two either went to college and got degrees or were currently in college.
"It wasn't just for a name. It was to help Valdosta, Georgia," Martin emphasized. She said she was also glad that she was able to live to see the street renamed in her honor. "I don't wanna wait until death and then you gonna throw up a sign or rename a buildin' after me. I don't need that."
Her pastor and great nephew, Jimmy Williams, said she is an inspiration to the community. "I think she can inspire us in so many ways; to definitely get an education, to stand up for what we believe, to do the right thing," Williams said.
Neighbor Marcella Spencer had only known Martin since 2011, but said she, too, believed Martin is an inspiration and that the street sign will help continue her legacy for younger generations. "That would give them a bigger goal to go towards and let them know that they could do it," Spencer explained.