“I’ve been accused of being prissy before, but I’m absolutely not; I’m a tomboy through and through.”
Marty Driver says there are not many people who realize that she was quite the athlete while she was in high school.
The Yadkin County native attended Forbush High School where she dove into any sport she could, particularly basketball.
“I guess one of the things I’m most proud of is I was the first female athlete of the year at Forbush High School,” Driver said. “There was a male that year also, but I was the first female. That was 1974 and every year since then there’s also been a female athlete of the year.”
After high school Driver went on to Gardner-Webb University and obtained an associate’s degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. Ten years later she would return to pursue her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Driver took her first job at Baptist Hospital at 19 years old working in the pediatric unit.
“I pioneered their first home visitation program for children,” Driver said. “We got grant money and I went to the homes of children who’d just been diagnosed with cancer, and I’d visit and just make sure that they were doing OK.”
Driver said that the experience changed her attitude about life. She said that seeing children who were never going to get the chance to go out and accomplish things made her want to live her life to the fullest.
“I am one of those people who enjoy every single day, and I try not to take anything for granted because I know those poor children were gone early and never had the chance to do some of the things I’ve been able to do,” Driver said.
Driver continued her career in nursing, which took her out of Yadkin County for about 15 years. She took a brief stint away from health care and ventured into the skies while she worked for Piedmont Airlines. She even travelled to England to help establish the airline’s trip from Charlotte to London.
In the 1990s Driver lost her mother. She decided it was time to return to Yadkin County, but she still wasn’t ready to return to the medical field. Instead, Driver opened a business in downtown Yadkinville called Balloon Creations.
“That’s when I got into the business community, and I got involved with the Chamber of Commerce,” Driver said. “I was on the board in 1991 and 1992, and then I was also the first president of the Downtown Business Association and served as president for two years.”
Once Driver started getting involved with the community she was hooked. She played an instrumental role in getting the YMCA established in Yadkinville.
“[The members of the Downtown Business Association] realized in having grown up here that there was nothing for young people to do and there was nowhere to go to hang out,” Driver said. “We were the ones who started the idea of the YMCA and we got organized and finally raised the money for the YMCA.”
In 2008, Driver began her career with New Horizons. She works for both the Adult Day Services and the Home Care divisions of New Horizons as the clinical nurse manager.
“It’s just so rewarding to be able to work with those special needs adults and try to make their day as meaningful as possible,” Driver said. “They have special needs, and they are maybe a little different from us. But they are still a part of our community and what goes on here, and I want them to be more involved.
Driver said that her job with New Horizons has been her most rewarding job since she became a nurse. She’s even more thankful that she’s able to work a job she loves in the community that is dear to her heart.
“You feel like you’re giving back, and it’s not work to you, but yet you get a paycheck every two weeks,” Driver said. “I can work in my community and I can get up and get ready and be at my job in less than 10 minutes and work at it all day long and not consider it work. I feel so fortunate to be able to do that.”
Driver has also been instrumental in establishing Yadkin Home Place, a home in Boonville for handicapped and special needs adults. This facility allows for six special needs adults to live independently from their parents.
“Three of those folks that are living there now have never lived away from home,” Driver said. “Part of the reason for raising [the] money [for the facility] was that their parents are getting older and they can’t continue to take care of them like they need to.”
Driver says that when she’s not working she’s usually exercising or travelling to Knoxville, Tenn. to visit her daughter at college. She is also involved in her church.
“I don’t think people realize what a spiritual person I am and how God-centered I try to be and doing things that I think Jesus would do or want us to do,” Driver said.
Driver says she feels that more people in Yadkin County would benefit the experience of living outside of the county for a period of time so they can truly appreciate living here.
“It is a truly wonderful place to grow up,” Driver said. “I feel like people who don’t live outside of Yadkin County for a while don’t appreciate how nice it is to live here and raise your kids here. They just assume that everywhere is like this and it’s not.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.