Ruth Council has been living in her home at the intersection of Crowder St. and Bunche Dr. for 50 years.
She has been giving back to the community for just as long, starting out as an elementary school teacher and eventually becoming a principal. After retiring, she continued to help local youth by volunteering her time to mentor and teach those who were struggling in school.
"It is my personal philosophy that service is the rent you pay for living...I try to encourage them that you can do this; you can do it," Council said, emphasizing the word 'can' as she spoke. "I also say, 'you are somebody.'"
She said she hopes her efforts will inspire others to get an education and work to improve the quality of life in the city instead of moving to a place where the quality of life is already better.
"If you say to young people, 'get up, get in college, finish, and then move to a better area,' I just think that's a double standard," Council explained.
Her husband, Ralph, was born and raised in Valdosta also and said it makes him prouder to call Valdosta home knowing how much his wife's work has benefitted the community.
"Very definitely so. One of the things I often tell people is when she became a council member she's a council of the council," Ralph Council said, smiling and chuckling, as he sat next to his wife in their dining room.
As of Thursday, the official renaming ceremony was scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Crowder St. and Bunche Dr. and the public is welcome to attend.