Walking Your Talk…!

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”                              By Bobby Unser

Just within days, the Costa Rican guests will be arriving in the US and then to the Emory & Henry College campus. The results of many months planning and various people working together will soon be evident to us all.

The recent photo below is one that speaks volumes about the continuous efforts of the “Friends of Copey” as useful and meaningful partners with the Copey Learning Center.

CLC EH team

Angela, Fatima, Noelia, Celeste, Adriana, Ana Yancy

This is one of the best photos I have received from the Copey Learning Center. Shown are the past and current Executive Directors. Also shows the past students (Noelia and Celeste) who visited E&H College last summer and the current students (Fatima and Adriana) heading our way.

The community of Copey can proclaim that in a short 12 month period, four of their brightest and best students have visited the US and our college.


The Pathway Project Fundraising Results

There is so much praise and “thank yous” to pass around. I am overwhelmed by the

Good News

generosity and interest so many of you have for this project. As of today, we can proclaim victory and success having exceeded the fundraising goal by several hundred dollars. My previous report indicated the campaign was officially closed with several hundred dollars “below” our goal. But, I also indicated there were funds still forthcoming and they have been received.

Just Outstanding!

My desired goal was to have the Pathway Project 100% funded by my E&H College friends and affiliated members of the college.

Progress Tracking Report

The total amount ($3,065.00) raised includes some donations from donor “Friends” who did not receive my request since they were not in the E&H category. However, E&H friends and affiliates did donate enough to meet and exceed the goal of $2,700.00.

Now, two years running, let it be clear that the “Pathway Project” involving our college has been successfully funded by friends and affiliates of the college. And, if some of you still want to join in with a donation, Thank you and..send the donation in.

We are covering basic travel expenses and also want the experience to be as memorable as possible. For example, once they arrive in DC, they will spend time looking at the sites and will attend the Kennedy Center to watch the NYC Ballet performance. Then while traveling down Interstate 81, they will visit the Natural Bridge. If there are funds unspent at the conclusion of this project, these funds roll over to next year. You can pay forward as well.

As a reminder, the funding for this effort is supported in three parts. The community of Copey, parents, and friends all contribute in various way to cover the cost for the preparations and readiness needed for the students to travel to the US. The college support includes hosting and providing a wide variety of experiences for all of our guests while on or near campus. This includes finding support to cover tuition for the Young Scholars course both Fatima and Adriana will attend with other students. And, “Friends of Copey” is responsible for travel costs for all four guests as they depart Costa Rica and return to Costa Rica. There is a real joy in our ability to “Walk the Talk!”

Welcome Party

There is planned an official greeting and reception for our guests shortly after their Celebration balloons.arrival. A major supporter of the “Pathway Project” and a fellow E&H Board member has invited us to join in on the reception on June 13th at his home. This is a great opportunity if you are nearby to meet in person our guests as well as others who are also “Friends of Copey”. Because of the very wide distribution of my Blog which includes both “Friends of Copey” and those just curious, send me an email requesting time and location. This will prove to be an unforgettable reception. Join In!









2015 Friends of Copey Accomplishments


“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”      by Corrie ten Boom

With the Learning Center ending its 2015 season and we gear up for 2016, it is a good time to just reflect on some of the highlights and achievements we have made in partnership with the Learning Center.

Financial Support

  • Successful Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund Drive raising funds to provide tuition support for 15 plus students to attend the Learning Center in 2015.

Scholarship Recipient

  • Successful Fund Drive to raise $2500 to support the newly paid position of Executive Director for the Learning Center.
  • Provided $400 plus to support the purchase of miscellaneous school supplies and equipment for the Learning Center including a Tablet.


  • Kiwanis Tri-Cities, Washington approved zzzKiwanisFriends of Copey as an authorized (recognized) project supported by Kiwanis.



Friends of Copey unveils new “Friends” banner 

zzzFriends w banner


  • Established formal relations with Kiwanis’ K-Kids from Jefferson Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary Pen PalRichland, Washington and students attending the Learning Center. Pen Pal Program
  • Sharing a Pen Pal Program with music students attending Sugar Grove Elementary School located in Sugar Grove, Virginia with the Learning Center students.

CLC letter to Sugar Grove (2)

There are numerous other accomplishments including major milestones reached with the Blog  during the year to report and we will continue highlighting them in the next Post.


Two of the many distinguished ladies in my family were recent recipients of honor and recognition. My Aunt Katherine (Goble) Johnson was one of seventeen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to her by President Obama last week. This is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a civilian. Aunt Katherine’s life and achievements present an incredible story. You can learn more about her story by clicking on the link below:


Barack Obama, Katherine Johnson, Willie Mays

Aunt Katherine is the oldest of my living aunts and her life and legacy continues to shine as a beacon of inspiration and self-determination. Her life’s passport was education and it took her to places far beyond this earth. Captain Kirk move over….Aunt Katherine is on her way!

A second recognition of importance went to my sister Pat Wright. She has been accepted as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). As a direct descendent of John “The Patriot” Broady, our 6th grandfather, Pat qualified for DAR membership. Our cousin, Gwen Huckstep, became a DAR member in 2014. Gwen resides in southwest Virginia near the area where John “The Patriot” lived and is buried.


Membership approval is granted only after extensive and verifiable proof is provided that you are a direct descendent of one who participated in the American Revolutionary War. IMG_1071

John “The Patriot” was a slave and owned by Colonel Campbell, the American Revolutionary War commander who led an army of southwest Virginians in the famous Battle of Kings Mountain. John “The Patriot’s” life and relationship with the Campbell family has been of serious interest to historians for years and aspects of his life continues to be researched. If you are in or around Smyth County Virginia, you will find John “The Patriot’s” name included on the DAR monument located on the Court House lawn. To our knowledge, Pat is the only Afro-American DAR member residing in the Northwest.

Both Aunt Katherine and Pat represent the long line of Gobles and Broadys who have distinguished themselves in many areas such as education, the military, the Arts, in the church, business, and community. Personally, I have been lifted up by so many in my family. What a Blessing!

I feel honored and compelled to share these personal stories of achievements. Especially in Aunt Katherine’s case, in her early life someone took interest in her and encouraged her to enjoy learning and to set high goals. This is the essence of “Friends of Copey” as we strive to encourage learning and inspire young people to shoot for the stars.  As “Friends” You and I can make a difference!


Another Special Post

“Start where you. Use what you have. Do what you can.”     By Arthur Ashe

Can you ever get tired of joy? Can you ever get enough of just seeing good and wonderful people doing just great and amazing things? I may have come close this week but NO…you never get tired of seeing good!

This has been a week filled with an overflowing of generosity and service. And, the results have been beyond description. Since the guests from Copey, Costa Rica arrived in Washington, DC late Monday night until the present, this has been a continuation of volunteers at work and back to back activities. So many amazing things have been done in very unselfish ways. I think the best I can do is just provide a few photos of the week. photo Pond



Church service


“Hidden Figures Way”

Katherine Johnson (Aunt Katherine), Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson were the recipients of yet another great honor this week with the renaming of a popular street in Washington, DC, now named “Hidden Figures Way”.Hidden Figures Way

The street outside NASA headquarters serves to honor all the women who worked as “human computers” at Langley Research Center in Virginia at the time racial segregation and gender discrimination were commonplace.

Katherine Johnson

We continue to be especially proud of these women and particularly proud of Aunt Katherine who is the only surviving member of the three women highlighted in the film.

Deepest Appreciation to all of the “Friends of Copey, E&H College, and my hometown Kiwanis Club.

A special “Happy Father’s Day” to all the Dads!

Special Post

The Best has arrived…! We are excited to see the 2019 Pathway Project students (Dayana, Jimena, and Mariana arrive at the Emory & Henry College campus and things are moving quickly.

The journey to the E&H College campus was filled with fast pace excitement as well. Pathway 2019 Natural BridgeThe guests arrived in Washington, DC on Monday night and following dinner and they all needed some rest. Tuesday was a very full day visiting as many as 5 historical sites, and fighting traffic for several hours to late in the evening to connect with their next host outside of DC. Pathway 2019 Lincoln 2

Wednesday morning, they headed off to EH College but taking time to visit the Natural Bridge and underground caverns. When they arrived on campus early evening, they were treated to a cookout and sent to bed for some well deserved rest.Pathway 2019 Bear

Thursday, the students enjoyed spending time in historic Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee, “shop till you drop”, enjoyed the food, and then still had time for an outdoor concert. No doubt, the bed once again must have felt extremely inviting at the end of another long day for some weary folks.

Today, Friday is another full day. They will visit historic Marion, Virginia…my hometown and will be escorted by another one our excellent hosts. The destination is Hungry Mother State Park for some nature walks, paddle boating, and possibly swimming. Then, this evening is the big “Welcome Reception”. We can hardly wait!Pathway 2019 white house

This annual event (Reception) is so important to us all now as we enjoy this rare opportunity to actually meet students from Copey. These students have been assisted by the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund many of you annually support. The students have the opportunity to meet “Friends of Copey”, staff and faculty representing EH College, and others who help make this all possible. Even the EH College students who have volunteered in Copey and parents join in as we recognize their involvement in the “Pathway Project”.

On behalf of all the “Friends of Copey”, thank you for all you do to make this a very special time for so many.

Stay tuned in for there is much more to come!






Friends Believe in Friends!

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”          By Abraham Lincoln

Today is extremely special and a day all of us “Friends of Copey” should enjoy and rejoice. Only minutes ago, I confirmed our four guests from the Copey Learning Center are now in America and checked in to their hotel near Washington, DC. This news represents months of planning and preparing, involving many supporters both financially and non-financially.

Pathway 2019

Jemina, Dayana, Mariana, and Catalina before departing Costa Rica

Now, the stage is set for the next two weeks with a full slate of activities and an army of local “Friends” going all out to do their best as hosts and great “Friends”.  Tomorrow, my cousin Zina will treat our guests to some site-seeing in Washington, DC, then transfer the guests to Matt Krauss where they will spend the evening in Warrenton, Virginia. Matt was one of last year’s EH College’s Pathway Project students who volunteered in Copey. He and his family will  provide food and lodging tomorrow evening. Wednesday morning, Monica from EH College will take over and return the guests to the college campus. On the way to Emory, Virginia she will add some special side-trips for the guests to enjoy.

Pathway 2019 Arrival

Waiting for departure in Miami

These and other supporters will go the extra mile to make the two weeks on our campus a memorable experience. There is so much more to come as the next several days pass.  And, 99% of the activities will be led by enthusiastic volunteer supporters.

It is very difficult to list in its entirety all the many large and small contributions people make for all this to happen and happen in an extraordinary way. Very simply put…the “hearts of servants” are always leading the way.

2019 Pathway Project…Urgent Call!!!

The Goal:  $5,600.00   Actual Income: $3,422.00    Deadline:  June 5, 2019

Several “Friends” have inquired about the funding situation for this year’s Pathway Project. I appreciate your concerns and this is the current situation provided straight and clear.

The bad news is that we likely will come up a little short of the funds we believed are needed to do the project well and appropriate. The adjustments will be made but I am expecting they will be minor.

But, we have some good news!  Several donors over the past few days have promised to send in their donation. If all these donors match their 2018 donations, we will come close to our goal.

If you are still sitting on the sideline thinking about making a donation, we are still open for business. We have contingency plans to make certain we do all that is needed to make the 2019 Pathway Project a huge success. How much of these plans we will need to implement depends how much is needed at the end of the project to cover all our expenses. “HIS will be done!” 

Guidelines for Donating Below:

The “Annual Reception” Invitation

Two years ago, George Whitley, a close “Friend” and EH College Trustee, offered to open his home and host a reception for the students when they arrived at our campus in 2017. The offer was quickly accepted and a tradition began as we now welcome guests annually. I confess, I did not realize at first this would have so much deep and personal meaning/value.

Emory 36

George with Ana Yancy and Arthur

We are now preparing for our third “Annual Reception” and its significance has become almost beyond my comprehension. The guest list grows! This annual gathering of “Friends of Copey” is now important beyond simply gathering for a cookout at George’s. This “reception” is now viewed as a serious opportunity to be together as “Friends” and to be visually united in support of the Copey Learning Center and its work.

I am sorry my west coast “Friends” cannot easily attend but there are quite a number of “Friends” in and around the EH College campus who could attend. “Friends” are located in southwest Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, east Tennessee, and even Pennsylvania join in. Come one and come all. Come and witness miracles on display! 

Early thanks to George for his unmatched generosity and support for the “Annual Reception”.

Donation Guidelines

Be Positive…Be Happy!”

“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people.”                          By Tena Desae

I am enjoying a very relaxing time in east Tennessee for a few days before I start up with college business later this week. Relaxation has included my granddaughter providing me with a “mud-mask” treatment, leaving me with a fresh look. Next, I suspect my toes will get their annual bright red paint job. Ha Ha!  The life of a grandpa.

Then, the following week I will have the pleasure of welcoming the guests from Copey.

2019 Pathway Project…Urgent Call!!!

The Goal:  $5,600.00   Actual Income: $3,422.00    Deadline:  June 5, 2019

We are running behind on our fundraising efforts for the 2019 Pathway Project. BUT…let’s not lose faith! 

We have one final week for contributions and commitments. So, if you are still CONSIDERING financially supporting the 2019 Pathway Project, the time is now to decide. This is the final push to raise at least $1,000.00 more. We can make adjustments to our plans if our funds are short to allow us to accomplish most of our plans.  “When many will do just a little for kids…..!” 

New Banner.1We have a great team of supporters on the ground ready for the arrival of the Copey guests. These volunteers help save money on local transportation, housing, and meals. They donate their personal time and talent to cover many activities designed to provide our guests a real close look at our country, culture, and people. They are committed to this year being better than all of the previous years.

We just need a few more funds to cover some of the costs volunteers should not be expected to pay for. The method for donating is provided below. I thank many of you who have already committed funds. You have us off to a really great start. CLC Volunteer Pic

Saying Goodbye!

Lizeth and Bob have completed their 90 days of volunteerism at the Copey Learning Center. They are featured in the photo on the far left along with the two EH College students on the right. Both Lizeth and Bob are veterans in the field of teaching in remote locations and the EH College students have learned much from them.

A couple of new volunteer teachers have arrived at the Learning Center to replace Lizeth and Bob. Of course, now Megan and Madeline are teamed with these teachers for the balance of their time in Copey.

Donation Guidelines



Memorial Day…Remembered!

“These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor – and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free.”  By Michael Castle

Observing Memorial Day today!

This past Saturday I had the honor of attending my second oldest grandson’s high school graduation in Las Vegas. He graduated with honors and is headed to the University of Nevada where his older brother is scheduled to complete his undergraduate degree in the Fall.

Now, I am in Philadelphia attending a conference before heading to Virginia and Tennessee. In fact, I am trying to squeeze a little time during today’s busy schedule to complete this Post. I took a shortcut and reposted my 2018 Memorial Day message. I will continue to honor my high school friends who served and died.  4th of July

“This Memorial Day Weekend, again as is my custom, I pay my respects and salute those close friends of mine who died while serving our country. My high school friends included Danny Watkins from Meadowview, Virginia; Michael Charles and Kenneth Delaney from Bristol, Virginia; and Frank Campbell from Chilhowie, Virginia.

There were several others who also died while in service. I have added Curtis “Duck” Montgomery, a World War II veteran and my long time friend who passed away two years ago at 101 years of age. And, this is a special time to remember my cousin “Marty” Clark who passed away on Memorial Day in 2016. All of these were great folks who deserve to be remembered each and every Memorial Day.”

2019 Pathway Project

The Goal:  $5,600.00   Actual Income=$3,172.00    Deadline:  June 5, 2019

Last week, I projected we would reach at least 50% of our goal by this week’s Post. I was almost right. We made it to 48.8% and then something very significant happened. Airline tickets were purchased at a much lower price compared to last year.  SAVINGS!

Now we can safely reduce our goal by $900.00. The new goal is $5,600.00. putting us at 57% of our new goal. There are no more major savings to count on so we are down to two weeks to raise the funds we still need.

We can do this! The students are scheduled to depart Costa Rica on June 10th and all systems are “Go”. The students are very excited along with the Moms and Dads. The “Welcome Party” in Washington, DC is committed and in place. And, the “Reception” is shaping up to be a lot of fun. Invitations are out and if you did not get one, you are still invited. We use the invite system to help plan for the food…not to exclude anyone. Please join in and be a part of this one way or another. Never, ever forget the motto “Friends of Copey” has preached for years now. “Doing even a little matters….!”Donation Guidelines

Final Comments…!

Last week I had to the pleasure to skype with Ana Yancy at the Copey Learning Center and speak with Emory & Henry College (EH College) students, Megan and Madeline. My respect and enthusiasm for the college students who volunteer to go to Copey grows each year. These young students are excited, positive, and even courageous. They hit the ground running when they arrive in Copey and quickly making a positive difference. Sure, this all looks easy…but it is not. When was the last time you immersed yourself 100% into a totally different culture with people you never met?Megan and Madeline

Food, housing, climate, language and the distance all together can seriously challenge your life’s emotional and physical comforts. Misery can hit you very quickly!

While conversing with both Megan and Madeline, they are certainly not miserable. I realized how much my college attracts and educates very special people. I am filled with pride and appreciation knowing they selected Copey to go to. They want to be there. They want to experience the tough challenges that will give back to them as much as they are giving away.

Both Megan and Madeline plan to attend the “Reception” and we all should welcome them back home. And, we should carefully listen to their side of the experience. Copey is known for changing people’s hearts and minds. I can hardly wait to see them in person, to thank them, and to be reminded how wonderful the Pathway Project is for all of us involved.

Life Is Filled With Corners…!

“Always believe in yourself and never give up because you don’t know what success could be right around the corner.”    By Jamie Hampton

This is really an exciting time for “Friends of Copey”. Okay…I know I say that often but it really does seem we are constantly getting ready for something waiting “just around the corner”. I remember my mother saying…”she was too busy to get tired!” To me, this always seemed like a senseless expression. But, as I get older and continue being active, it begins to make a lot of sense. Right now, I am too busy to get tired for the things “just around the corner!”

One thing “just around the corner” is the departure of our Copey Learning Center students coming to America. Can you imagine how exciting this must be for these students? I can promise you that coming to America is not very common or even a possibilty for 90% of these students, in my opinion. To have this experience at such a young age is extraordinary. But this is part of what we do…the extraordinary!

One more thing “just around the corner” is the conclusion of our 2019 Pathway Project Fundraising Campaign. We continue to make very good progress. However, our time is getting short and actions/decisions relating to airline tickets, and hotel rooms/meals, and the rest is upon us.

2019 Pathway Project

The Goal:  $6,500.00        Actual Income=$2,372.00          Deadline:  June 5, 2019

There was a jump in “Actual Income” over the past week but still below 50% of what is needed at this time. Hopefully, you will be inspired to support this project and if so, please don’t delay. Each day, I carefully watch our progress and entertain different options to fit the amount of funds I expect may be available. I appreciate the advanced notices letting me know your donation has been mailed. Saves time instead of waiting for the delivery to find out. We hope to hit the 50% plus mark next week.tracking.199

The air travel arrangements must be made now to take advantage of very good prices. On hand, there are funds available ($2,372.00) and with additional funds committed, travel cost can be covered.

However, there are several other upcoming expenses to cover four guests for a two week stay. These costs will hit in two to three weeks leaving only a little time to hit our goal. Again, do not delay if you plan to support this effort.

Seidy Rodriguez, Founder of the Copey Learning Center, had planned to travel with the students to America this year. Unfortunately, Seidy will not travel this year due to her elderly mother’s current health condition. We do expect to have a video of Seidy to show during the “Reception”.

Because of this change, there are now three students and one chaperone traveling to America. This change will not have an impact on the amount of funds we need. More details on the guests will follow over the next couple of weeks.

Revision to Donation Guidelines…Please Note!

The donation guidelines have also changed slightly so please read the guidelines closely. We have revised the mailing address since our designated Treasure will not be available for about two weeks. One week has been added to our deadline.  Please give us a hand and help make 2019 another successful year.

Donation Guidelines


The Mother’s Gift…!

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore He made mothers.”                                                                  By Rudyard Kipling

Mothers Day in the USA

This Blog likely would not have started more than five years ago without my mom passing away and leaving behind her inspiration. And, look how far we have gone. Thanks Mom!

Also, over this same five years, several of my “Friends” have also said goodbye to their mothers. I have previously recognized each of these in my Posts. Recently, another wonderful mother of a “Friend” passed on. Jacqueline Sharpe, age 90 passed away on April 21, 2019. She is survived by some very special daughters, sisters and brothers, and many other family members. She was also a dear and very close friend to mom throughout their entire lives.

We also remember again Ms. Lucille Lee (deceased August 2014), Ms. Marilyn Dunn (deceased March 2015), and Ms. Elizabeth Goble (deceased April 2016).

It is a Great Day in “Friends of Copey” land!

We are happy to announce both Megan and Madeline, Emory & Henry College student volunteers to the Copey Learning Center, have safely arrived in Copey, Costa Rica where they will both spend the next five weeks sharing, learning, and teaching. Both have been highlighted in the past two Posts. We are very proud of them for selecting Copey as a place to volunteer.

This represents the official start of the “2019 Pathway Project”. We will keep track of their time and involvement over the next several weeks.

“The Quido A. and Elizabeth H. Binda Foundation” 

Another source of wonderful news includes the selection of the five new Copey students who received the scholarships made possible by the Binda Foundation last month.   Below are two of the five recipients. Binda Recipient

These students and their their families are excited about this unforseen opportunity to join other students attending the Binda Scholarship formCopey Learning Center.

It is also important to note that all of the available student population in Copey does not attend the Copey Learning Center for various reasons including financial reasons.Binda recipient2

The staff works very hard to keep these un-enrolled students on their watch list for any unexpected opportunity if it develops. We are cerainly pleased things worked out this time for five additional students. This type of support is always needed and useful.

2019 Pathway Project

The Goal:  $6,500.00        Actual Income=$1,772.00          Deadline:  May 31, 2019

Some small gains were made over the week but this is expected. I am just getting out the official letter to EH College affiliated supporters and this will make a huge difference over the next couple of weeks.

Please note the donation guidelines have one important modification. We are using a new/different mailing address since our Treasurer will be out of town a couple of weeks and unable to report donation information during her absence. This information is extremely important since I want to inform you with our up to date and accurate progress during this campaign. Therefore, your help is very much needed…needed soon and please follow the guidelines provided.

2019 Pathway Project Donation Guidelines

Make your donation by preparing your check to read TCI-Kiwanis Foundation and include in the memo section: “Pathway Proj.FOC”. Then, please mail the check to the address below not later than May 31, 2019Carol Barnard

Pathway Tracking


Please do not make the check to “Friends of Copey” or to me. And please do not submit directly to the CLC PayPal. All funds MUST go into the TCI Kiwanis Foundation account to be recorded. TCI Kiwanis Foundation receives/pays and audits all the income and expenses. The account is managed by the TCI Kiwanis Club Foundation’s Treasurer, Ms. Julie Meek. The Foundation has 501c3 status and each donor will receive a confirmation letter and tax verification. Thanks in Advance!