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!


“All Praises Be To Thee…”

“In my writing, as much as I could, I tried to find the good, and praise it.”                                          By Alex Haley

Happy Easter and Holy Week!

It was decided to take a week off since the Copey Learning Center was on vacation in recognition of their version of Easter Week…! Also, it was an extremely busy week for me being involved in other projects I am engaged in.

2019 Pathway Project

Back to business today and we are now on the front end of the next major events planned for both May and June. zzzEmory image 5

First, in a couple of weeks there will be two more Emory & Henry students heading to Copey. These two students will follow the previous five students who began volunteering in Copey in 2016 when we began the “Pathway Project”. I plan to share more information about our current students in upcoming Posts.

Also, we continue to work out the issues with our Copey students heading to America in June. Getting visas approved for students has become a little more complicated than in the past. We hope to have this all resolved very soon. Next week, we will kick off the annual “2019 Pathway Project” fundraising effort needed to cover the travel expenses for the Copey students and chaperones.

“The Quido A. & Elizabeth H. Binda Foundation Grant” Delivered…!

We are again thankful and appreciative for the recent grant funds provided by the Binda zzzKiwanisFoundation from Battle Creek, Michigan. Also, we thank the Tri-City Kiwanis Club for their support. The funds have been received and passed on to the Copey Learning Center. Next week, we expect to learn more about the students who will be awarded scholarships made possible by this grant.

Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund Recipients for 2019

We are continuing to highlight  the scholarship recipients to show all “Friends” the results of the AGB Scholarship Fund support we receive. There are eighteen recipients total.    Recipient AGB.2Recipient AGB

The grant from the Binda Foundation will add another five recipients to Copey Learning Center rolls very soon. Needless to say…the more students attending the Copey Learning Center…the better. 


Video Production…!

Recently, the Copey Learning Center received their final copy of the YouTube video about the work at the Copey Learning Center. This video is mostly in Spanish and will not be a problem for the “Friends” fluent in Spanish. However, for others it will be a challenge.

We have three students featured in this video who have been past “Pathway Project” recipients. Celeste, Ariana, and Brian all have been to America with your help. Mariana, also featured, is one of the “2019 Pathway Project” students scheduled to travel in June. Seidy is the founder of the Copey Learning Center and also scheduled to travel to America in June. We plan to show this video during the planned reception when we host the Copey students and chaperones. Plan to join us in southwest Virginia on June 14, 2019.


“Spark a Chain Reaction…!”

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.”                                                        By Wade Boggs

Good News Breaking…!

Recently, due to a wonderful friend connection, we received an invitation to apply for a grant to use for additional scholarships at the Copey Learning Center. This invitation required Kiwanis and “Friends of Copey” to work as partners. The grant was approved and an additional $500.00 will be donated to the Copey Learning Center with the official donor…“The Quido A. and Elizabeth H. Binda Foundation” based in Battle Creek, Michigan.Partnership.2

We continue to demonstrate how significant partnerships can be if we want to accomplish important goals. Working successfully together produces consistent benefits to the students in Copey. We will keep you informed on the results of these additional funds providing more students opportunities to enroll into the Copey Learning Center.

More Anne G. Broady Scholarship Recipients!

During the 2019 Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund campaign, we continued to see positive responses in support of this part of our effort. The average size of the donation in 2019 was $164.00 spread among 11 donors. Of course the average changes each year as well as the names and number of donors. There are donors who contribute each year and there are other donors who are first-time contributors. All donors are welcomed…all are appreciated!  Recipient.3

Therefore, sharing these photos with all “Friends” is truly a meaningful gesture to demonstrate what can be done outside the lines when “Friends” and partners work together.

It it important to note that this 2019 campaign is our sixth campaign and we have met or exceeded our goal every year.


Our support has provided more than 100 scholarships over the six years and we know “what we do as “Friends” has a real impact on the lives of Copey kids today…and has a potentially enormous impact on the future lives of these kids!”Recipient.4


Dayana Rivera Serrano (shown left) is one of the two Copey Learning Center students scheduled to participate in the 2019 Pathway Project. We are looking forward to Dayana traveling to America and spending a couple of weeks with us.

We are gearing up to lauch the 2019 Pathway Project and foresee this year being the very best of all so far. We are expecting the “Founder’ of the Copey Learning Center, Seidy Ridriquez, to be among the visiting guests and we also understand there will be a recently produced video focused totally on the history and success of the Copey Learning Center. This will be one of the featured presentations during the annual “Reception” scheduled for June 14. All “Friends” in the southwest Virginia area are called on to attend. You alone can cause a “chain reaction”!



Joyful Hearts….!

“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.”                   By Charles R. Swindoll.

Early Post News!

This is an early edition of this week’s Post. I will not be available to issue my Post tomorrow, my normal Post day. On Tuesday I am flying back to the west. And, Wednesday will be an impossible busy first day back home.

This is short. ThePamela.recipient Copey Learning Center staff has taken time to prepare and send photos of each of the 18 Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund recipients.  I do not want to wait to share these with you.                                Pamela.recipient

These photos demonstrate our presence and commitment to the Copey community. Parents in Copey are fully aware how important the scholarship funds are. Their sons and daughters have the same opportunity to learn English as others. And, as “Friends of Copey”, you can see the faces, the smiles, and the looks of hope you help produce for these scholarship recipients. More photos will be shared soon. You make this happen.Kenneth.recipient

“2019 Pathway Project”

I am also happy to announce my Emory & Henry College (EH) supporters continue to show their interest in the upcoming “Pathway Project” scheduled in June. I had conversations with several annual EH donors who conveyed their continuous support and their excitement for the return of Copey students. I did not have a chance to meet the two EH students preparing to go to Copey in May. But, I am informed they are very excited and are going to do well.

In the next couple of weeks, I will start focusing on both our EH students leaving for Copey and the students scheduled to travel to America.








It Is Looking Sunny…!

“Friends”, I am happy to report that I am now located in east Tennessee and southwest Virginia. I am here for my college board of trustees meeting this week and visiting family.

Yes, this is a late Post. My schedule to get important things done was completely filled before leaving home. Then, once I arrived in east Tennessee and joined up with my grandkids, I was off to “Dollywood” for a full day of fun…full day. This is “Spring Break” week and you can imagine the rest.

Copey Learning Center News…

The news in Copey is positive. Andrea, the Director is doing well after her surgery a couple of weeks ago. We continue to wish her a full recovery and soon return to the Copey Learning Center. Ana Yancy’s sister, Marta is home from the hospital and the challenges she was having with cancer seem to be resolved. The foursome planning to travel to the USA in June are getting things in line with passports, visas, and other matters.  “Things are really looking sunny!”

Oh yes, we understand at this time, Seidy Rodriquez plans to be one of the adult chaperones. A reminder! Seidy is the “Founder” of the Copey Learning Center and none of this would have ever come to be without Seidy’s vision for something better for her community.

Volunteers Are Special…

This week is a good time to share some information about our two very experienced volunteer teachers. Having seen their resumes, I am very impressed with their work and life experiences.

Lizeth Vallarta was born and raised in southern California. She learned to speak SpanishCLC Volunteers from her Mexican parents. She graduated from the University of California of Riverside with a BS degree in Mathematics. She has volunteered in under served communities such as Tijuana and El Hongo, Mexico. While in El Hongo, she supported a non-profit organization, Flying Samaritans. Flying Samaritans provides free medical services to the community on a monthly basis to an under served community where they do not have medical services.

Teaching abroad for Lizeth has been a dream come true. She enjoys traveling, teaching, and “making a difference” in lives of others.

Bob Whitten is from a small village called Studham in the south of England. He was aCLC Volunteers.1 teacher in the middle school in a village in the UK. He taught in Italy, then taught in China for ten years, and then moved on to teach in Taiwan. He can speak Spanish, Italian, and Chinese.

Bob has many interests including hiking, reading, music, photography, and oil painting animals and landscapes. He has also enjoyed success selling his paintings. He always wanted to visit Costa Rica and enjoy the very beautiful area with lots of nature. Bob also wanted to do volunteer work and help people learn English. He is another “difference maker”.

“Friends of Copey” welcomes both Lizeth and Bob. My desire to share these special volunteers with you is because I want to point out how fortunate these Copey students are to continuously have teachers who come to them from all over with a wide range of experience, knowledge, and talent. Surely, the students learn English but they learn much more than just English. They are exposed to life’s experiences from those teaching, learn about new cultures, and learn about different interests such as oil paintings, crochet, and ballet? Remember ballet???

When we support the Copey Learning Center, we help keep the Center open to these rich opportunities to learn from Lizeth and Bob.

Thank you All!!!






Learning…Is The Awakener!

“There are few things more dishonorable than misleading the young.”                                                                       By Thomas Sowell

Sunshine and Blue Skies…! That is enough said about my weather.

Last Week’s Reminder – The Utah Team

I enjoyed hearing from Tamarie this week. It is still so awesome to think a short conversation with Tamarie Tamarie.1on the flight to Atlanta in 2017 about Aunt Katherine and then “Friends of Copey”, started an avalanche of generosity and kindness benefitting so many at the Copey Learning Center and the two Copey public schools. Here are Tamarie’s recent words being shared: 

“Copey will always hold a special place in our hearts.  Thank you for the wonderful❤️ opportunity! We will always cherish the memories made and the wonderful friends we made while visiting Copey.”

Be assured Tamarie…you and the other three travelers will long be remembered for being such examples of people who actively care!

Not so great news…

Jim (James) Johnson, husband of Aunt Katherine Johnson passed away last week. You will recall Mahershala Ali, two-time Academy Award winner, played the role of LTC Jim Johnson in the movie Hidden Figures. Jim was a man of great integrity, a perfect role model for the younger generation, and a wonderful husband to Katherine and step father to her daughters. He was a special friend to all of us.

I  believe part of the success of “Hidden Figures” can be attributed to the near perfect way Mahershala Ali captured the heart and soul in his portrayal of Jim Johnson. As such, on the big screen the world became familiar with Aunt Katherine, and the world also became acquainted with Jim.

“Legacy and Heritage!”

Delta Sigma 4

A special congratulations to the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority for its 106 years of history. The local Columbia Basin Alumnae Chapter did an outstanding job hosting this year’s Pacific Northwest Founders Day celebration.

The local chapter has actively supported “Friends of Copey” with donations for scholarships for several years. We are proud to have them include us as one of the Sorority’s international projects. Wishing the Delta’s another 106 years of continued success.

New Volunteer Teachers Go To Work!

CLC VolunteersI spoke via Skype with both current volunteers who are busy at the Copey Learning Center. I am typically impressed with the dedication and commitment such volunteers bring to Copey. These two volunteers are also impressive.

“Friends of Copey” officially welcomes both Lizeth and Bob to the Copey Learning Center. I have requested information from both volunteers and plan to share some of their service background with you soon.    CLC Volunteers.2.

These volunteers are just special people. I have full respect for those who spend time in an unfamiliar place for the single purpose of helping others…making a difference.  And, these volunteers are sharing part of their knowledge, expertise, and experience with others in similar fashion to sharing a drink of water or a portion of your meal with someone in need.

Well Wishes and Speedy Recovery!

Andrea Serrano Cortés, The Copey Learning Center’s Director, is scheduled to undergo surgery today in San Jose, Costa Rica. According to my information, she is having painful gall stones removed. We wish her well and a soon return to the business at the Center. Ana Yancy will hold things together during Andrea’s absence.










Each Day…A Complete 24 Hours”

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.”                    By Robert Collier

Okay, this is the very last time I will start my Post with a comment about the weather in my part of the country. Several days now, no snow and the temperature has been a little warmer…the 30’s . However, snow is forecast for tomorrow but we seem not to be freaking out over this prediction. So, I am going to move on and just appreciate this being a real lesson for me. “Nothing is ever really over…until it is over!”

Kids Here and Kids There!

Today is a new week at the Copey Learning Center as the first week of operation is over. I have beenStudent Letter from Lehi holding onto student letters from the Meadow Elementary School in Lehi, Utah waiting for the Copey Learning Center to reopen. The letters will be sent soon and will be joyfully received by the kids in Copey. We are happy this form of communication continues between students.

We are also planning the next Skype session with the Copey students and the Jefferson Elementary students (K-Kids) later in the month or early April. This is our effort to put more focus on kids interacting with kids this year.

The Pathway Project News

On March 18, the two Emory & Henry College students scheduled to travel to Copey for a volunteer assignment, will begin having meetings with the Copey Learning Center. The students will participate in several Skype sessions as part of their orientation and education designed to prepare them for their work at the Copey Learning Center. With the use of Skype, the students will establish a relationship with the staff and will be well-informed of the various facets of their involvement with the Copey Learning Center before leaving campus in early May. Just one more amazing aspect of this continuous journey.

History Remembered!

This time one year ago, one of the most phenomenal things happened. Four travelers boarded a plane in Salt Lake City, Utah headed to Costa Rica. Their mission was…“make a delivery to the Copey Learning Center”. The story was beyond my ability to process. Kids in the Meadow Elementary School  Utah Team and kidscollected 400 pounds of school supplies for kids in this small rural community…Copey. This truly fantastic story is mostly provided in the link https://friendsofcopey.com/2018/03/.

Tamarie, Debbi, Lisa, and Principal Carolyn are all remembered this month for having represented the generosity of kids at Meadow Elementary School, their families, and the spirit of our purpose as “Friends of Copey”.  You are truly remembered and honored for the love and leadership you showed the rest of us. Thank You!


“Definiteness of Purpose…Causes Success”

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” ― Babe Ruth

This is the first Post in March and here is a direct quote from my Monday’s local newspaper:

“February 2019 was one of the coldest, wettest, and snowiest Februaries in the Tri-Cities {Washington} since records began being kept in the late 1800’s”. And, “the low Monday was 8 degrees, the coldest on record for the date since daily records began being collected in 1884.” 

And, I might add that it is snowing as I am ready to send this Post to you. Ouch!

Yes, this Post is a couple of days late. Monday and Tuesday were unbelievably busy as I have been working on some other responsibilities and deadlines.

School Bells Are Ringing!

Monday in Copey, the doors swung open once again to greet a new day, a new school year, and to greet 40 of more bright faces eager to learn English. Even this far away from the small community, I can feel the excitement and joy that little building is dealing with this week. I do not have all the details since staff is far too busy at the moment to keep me updated. You must be as patient as I have to be. I will pass along the news soon.

“The Definiteness of Purpose…Causes Success”

All of the funds are now in for both campaigns and again I thank everyone…everyone for thank you .3the generosity, the interest, and the friendship supporting this project. We met both goals in record time and that is a very positive sign of support. It is always a wonderful and satisfying feeling to get this behind me. It could not be done without you.

It was my pleasure on Sunday morning to speak to the Copey Learning Center President and a Board member, Lorena and Catalina. We had the opportunity to visually spend time together to discuss a variety of school related issues including plans for the upcoming “Pathway Project”. We hope to do more of these sessions in the future.

Thanks Bev!

I have spoken about this a couple of times now but I feel as though I never provide sufficient justice and thanks. So, here I go once more. Bev, THANK YOU! 

By now most of  you should know that Bev extracts all of my Posts from my web site each year, cleans them up, and places each Post inside a binder. Thereby, I have a complete notebook or binder for each year we have been organized as “Friends of Copey”. At first, I thought this was just very nice to have.

Then, I discovered having this hard copy record provides many benefits. Some of these binders have traveled back and forth across the country several times. These binders have spent weeks and months in the care of others interested in reading the Posts.bev-binders-2.jpgThey have become very easy reference points if I am trying to show or explain something about “Friends of Copey” and the Copey Learning Center. I will even confess  having used these binders to prove to strangers that I am really related to Aunt Katherine. Who knew???

So, these binders mean a lot to me. Every one of the Posts can be found and read on the Blog but for an “old school” kind of guy, these are special.

There are many people, stories, including the amazing and the unexpected events, inside the covers. I do not know… but maybe one day my grandkids when older will take time to read these Posts and find some things interesting and informative about the generosity of others, the active meaning of “hearts of servants”, a very special community, and maybe learn something about old grandpa. Certainly, they will learn how wonderful it is to have quality “Friends”. Thanks Bev…for now and for the future.