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.

Non-Financial

  • 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

Academic 

  • 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.

OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

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:

http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151124/GZ01/151129725

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.

20151121_112449

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!

 

I must…Is always a good reason!

“Most people have a million reasons why they can’t when all they need is one reason why they must.” — Unknown   

Several “Friends” have responded to my call regarding the URGENT need for English teachers at the Copey Learning Center for the months September, October, and November.  I send out my biggest Thank You’s!         

There are more of you are out there, I am certain, not quite sure how a volunteer assignment to Copey might work out. I understand!  But think about the opportunity this way according to the following:

Just last week I heard a radio ad that caught my attention. The ad challenged listeners to work within your area of strength about 80% of the time. The advice is to do those things you are really good at doing. Work to excel and get better, set goals, and enjoy your successes. Doing what you do well provides you with self-confidence, purpose, and value. BUT…the ad went on to saChallengey you should try something different. You should spend about 20% of your time taking on new challenges in life…stretching your comfort zone and moving onward/upwards towards the higher levels of your potential whether it is vocational or recreational.

Yes, you are challenged to leave the pack, leap into new waters, climb a higher mountain, run a longer distance, try out a new skill, or take on a whole new adventure that will make you a bit uncomfortable, nervous, or stressed out some. This 20% is what gets us really excited about life, provides us a new perspective, and allows us to learn new things about ourselves. Why…? “We Must!”

Folks…I am walking proof of this advice. In fact, those close by think I have my 80/20% upside down or backwards. Maybe so, but there are other less exciting ways to make the most of your life. I do not think we should reserve our discomfort, nerves, or capacity for stress just to deal with bad news or bad events and experiences. There are other worthy uses. Think about your 20% challenge. Take the Copey Challenge!

Spelling Bee

I forgot to mention the Annual “Spelling Bee” in Costa Rica is underway. I do not have theSpelling Bee

latest details yet but will provide an update in next week’s Post. I have a strong feeling this year we will hit the “Big Time” by sending one or more to the National Spelling Bee Championship and returning to Copey as “winners”.

Mariana, is our inspirational Spelling Bee role model who made it to the National level last year. She did not win the National Title but we predict this could be the year for her and others to do very well. mariana-4-2

Before Mariana left Copey last year to attend the National event, I received this short note she sent to “Friends of Copey”. She wrote:

“I’m very grateful for your economic and emotional support  because this experience is very beautiful, special and unique. This competition shows me that CLC (Copey Learning Center) has a big impact in my life because here I learn a second language, that gives me important opportunities. My experience in this competition is very important for me because I love English”.

Mariana is an Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund recipient and is a prime example of the results we have come to expect from those students we support. I now predict that Mariana will one day be an excellent candidate for the “Pathway Project”.  This will be an amazing story in the future.

“Pathway Project 2017” 

Speaking of the “Pathway Project 2017”, we are still basking in the warm sun. We grow more and moAngela Ana 1.jpgre appreciative for the opportunity we had to bring two wonderful students to our country and campus along with their equally wonderful chaperones. In hindsight, all this has gone extremely well and the two weeks allotted is ideal for accomplishing our goals. The logistics, the supporters, volunteers, and donors all came together in a way that can only be described as “Divine”.  The chemistry of the partnerships including Emory & Henry College, the Kiwanis Club support, members of the Copey Community, and many others is a fantastic study of teamwork and cooperation.  “DIVINE Indeed!”

 

Ever Wanted To Do Something…Really Different?

This is a week of short notices regarding our Learning Center as things are continuing to settle down in our part of the country while the Learning Center is in the middle of a two-week school break.

The Learning Center’s Board of Directors met last week to review the first half of the school year and look ahead to the second half. There was also an extensive report on the “Pathway Project” provided to the Board by Ana Yancy and our two students, Fatima and Ariana. Natural Bridge

I received a wonderful note from Seidy, the Learning Center’s Founder, complementing “Friends of Copey” and our various “Pathway Project” partners for our outstanding support and devoted interest in the Learning Center and the students.

She wrote; “Thank you so much {Friends of Copey} for being special and wonderful. If we all be like you, definitely our world would be much better.” Seidy R.

Similar notes came in from others affiliated with Emory & Henry College who had hands on involvement with the “Pathway Project”:

“I had SUCH a good time getting to know this crew!”  Monica H.

“Again, you sure have connected us to wonderful people in Costa Rica.”  Edward D. 

“Thank you for allowing us to be part of such an inspirational project. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Ana Yancey, Fatima, and Adriana. We look forward to hearing about all you will do with Copey in the future!   Celeste G. 

Official letters are being sent out this week to all the “Pathway Project” donors that addresses the 501c3 Tax Exempt status of their donation for this specific project.

URGENT CALL FOR HELP

We do have an URGENT message to share with all “Friends”. The Learning Center is in need of English teachers…NOW!   clc-classroom-2017

Over the brief history the staff of English teachers volunteering for short and long-term teaching assignments has been very positive and typically in good supply. However, when we depend on an all volunteer force, we have greater risk for surprises and changes in volunteer schedules.

Friends of Copey

The Learning Center really needs our help  getting out the word about available volunteer teaching assignments at the Copey Learning Center.

Do you have an interest in a great vacation to a wonderful part of the world?

Do you know a new teacher or retired teacher who would enjoy a short-term assignment?   Casey and student girls

Do you have a church member (possibly retired) who had a career in education?

Are you a college student or do you know a college student who could benefit from a short international student exchange assignment in a non-English speaking community?

Please look at the specified credentials for a volunteer teaching assignment. Contact me immediately if you are interested or know someone who might be. 

CLC Credentials Please send me an email if you have an interest or know someone who may be. Contact me at atbroady@aol.com.  Thanks.

Freedom to Act…!

“There is nothing wrong with America that faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure.”    by Dwight D. Eisenhower
Today, we again will celebrate our country’s “Independence Day”…the 4th of July.  A year ago, I suggested we all pause briefly to consider the significant and priceless benefits we have the opportunity to enjoy. After a year of continuous political, social, and even military unrest and uncertainties, I once again suggest we pause and reflect on what is truly wonderful about the freedoms we enjoy.

I do watch and listen to the news but I consciously limit my time being exposed to the very negative 4th of Julynews and presentations regarding our country. I believe my time is much better spent finding positive ways to help make a difference in areas I have some degree of control. This is basically what “Independence Day” represents to me. I enjoy the freedom to make choices, to dream, to act, and to have an impact on things. This kind of “independence” is not enjoyed or available to people in many other places in our world. I invite you to read any of my 200 Posts and you will typically find a very positive message and evidence that “independence” makes a difference for the better. This is having the “freedom to act.”

Example of Freedom

In fact, one of the most recent examples of having the freedom to act is the “Pathway Project”.  Now, with over five years of continuous work with the Learning Center, we have learned to use our freedom to build successful partnerships. We cross international boundaries and freely participate in this project without needless interference or limitations. It has been the freedoms we have that permit the citizens of the USA and Costa Rica to work together with an excellent college all as partners to achieve something worthwhile and beneficial for kids.

New Banner.1

While it is good to stay current on issues affecting our lives each day, too much of it can cause you to take your eye off the ball. It is easy to get discouraged, cynical, and even feeling hopeless. Being heavy on the negative side can distort what we have to be thankful for. I personally avoid the ever-present gloom and doom. Often, when I see limitations…they usually are self-imposed. We would be “nowhere” today with “Friends of Copey” if the majority of us could only see us engaging in hopeless efforts. Instead, we often see the opportunities for success and therefore “Friends” has become a shining example of freedom in action.  Oh yes…that American faith and that love of freedom is getting the job done. 

More Photos to Share!

This will be the final Post featuring some of the more notable photos from the “Pathway Project”. Most of the photos can be seen now on the Copey Learning Center Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/CopeyLC/photos/?ref=page_internal.thank you .3 These are a few of my favorites showing the range of activities all four ofReception 2 our guests enjoyed over the short two weeks of their stay. These include hiking and rock climbing. Educating students on cultural matters including food, geography, customs, and traditions.

I believe one of the many key highlights of their trip were the opportunities each had to be among so washington Lincoln Monument rev.1many different people. The interaction, the exchange, and sharing cultures was just priceless.  Natural BridgeI also believe we have become better at being great hosts. We have a clearer vision on how to better share our country and our campus when there is such a short period of time.

This is a wonderful project and consider that in the past 15 months the “Pathway Project” has brought to the E&H campus four Learning Center students and two Executive Directors. Also, three E&H students have worked as volunteers in the Learning Center. But be reminded, this is only the tip of the iceberg when you factor in how much the Copey community has been impacted as well as many of those among the E&H family. All of this has been made possible because we have the freedom to act!Breakfast
Angela Ana (2)Hiking

 

Part III – Sparks of Possibilities!

“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.”                      By  Henry David Thoreau     

 
Today, June 26, we are all back home safely and we can all look back over the past couple weeks and be astonished that so much has happened. It was all good! Angela, Ana Yancy, Fatima, and Ariana all returned home to Copey on Saturday evening. Their two-week visit to the US and to our college campus was filled with many breath-taking experiences.

I promised more photos. Most of these are covering time during the second week when the Young Scholars Institute and Leadership Program was held on campus. Both Angela and Ana Yancy participated as teachers and counselors while Fatima and Ariana attended classes.

Photos of Angela and Ana Yancy conducting classes with many US students. Also, Fatima and Ariana performed their cultural dance for all the students. And, of course, just more fun things like standing in Virginia and Tennessee at the same time, and visiting the Country Music Capital located in Bristol, Tennessee.  More photos to follow.Emory Group 3  Emory Group 5

emory group 6

Campus

Bristol 2

Emory Group

Bristol    Emory Group 2

Once back home, Fatima and Ariana will instantly become the latest local celebrities and role models for other students to follow. Similar to Noelia and Celeste in 2016, we will have two more outstanding ambassadors inspiring more students to take education seriously.

As “Friends of Copey”, we have been successful.

Each of the four guests represented the country of Costa Rica and the Copey community in grand fashion. As “Friends” we are certainly encouraged to continue the “Pathway Project” as we look forward to the next two students coming our way in 2018.

In closing, several times over the past couple weeks I heard how really wonderful this “Pathway Project” is. Many seem to think this is something very special. My reply is simply that we do not have to be rich and famous or have some special intelligence or be gifted. For the most part, we just believe in possibilities. We believe that if enough people can cause “sparks of possibilities” to start…we then can move on to “probabilities”. This project began simply as a possibility…today it is a fantastic reality.

 

 

Part II- Sparks of Possibilities

As promised, today I am sharing some of the very special photos showing some of the 1st time experiences of Adriana and Fatima…even some for Ana Yancey. We are having a great time and you have to be present to experience the first time reactions to many new things.  These are only a few photos and more will be shared later.

Airplanewhite house 1

WashingtonNatural Bridge

bowlingTennesseeCampusThere has been a wide range of activities since their arrival to the US. The time spent in Washington, D.C. included visits to the White House, Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian. They attended the Kennedy Center to watch the New York Ballet perform and that was very special. Traveling down Interstate 81 included the stop at the Natural Bridge, Planetarium, and the caverns. Since arriving on campus, their time has been spent attending the reception, shopping, bowling, rock climbing, the trampoline, time at the lake swimming and boat paddling, attending a live concert, and eating at different restaurants. Later today, they will go hiking. This has been a fun-filled week with endless excitement.

I will be saying goodbye to them this evening and on Monday I travel to eastern Virginia to visit my aunts. Angela, Ana Yancey, Fatima, and Adriana will still be on campus next week attending the Young Scholars Institute and Leadership Program.

http://www.ehc.edu/academics/summer-programs-and-camps/summer-scholars/.  

Voted Best Summer Camp by Virginia Living Magazine

The Emory & Henry Summer Scholars program is a one-week residential academic program for rising middle and high school students inclined toward academic adventure. For rising 6th – 9th graders, the traditional Summer Scholars program offers a unique mix of learning activities designed to broaden academic interests and expose students to a college-like setting. The Leadership Program, for rising 10th-12th graders, provides the same academic adventure while building the student’s leadership skills. 

They will depart one week from today and will leave behind many new friends and will take home many memories and a treasure chest of stories to share.  Once again “Friends of Copey”…you helped make this all happen!

 

 

 

The Sparks of Possibilities…!

“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”       by Golda Meir

“The Eagle Has Landed”

This is one of my favorite quotes. I recall the day in July 1969 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong called out to Mission Control… “The Eagle Has Landed”.  As a college student it was an exciting and memorable event.

Eagle

When it was confirmed that Angela and our other three Costa Rican guests had arrived safely at Dulles Internatonal Airport last Saturday, I just instinctively said to myself…“The Eagle Has Landed.”  

The landing on the moon was clearly an enormous collaboration of parts and pieces from partnerships among government and non-government participants all focused on the single purpose of getting Apollo 11 safely to the moon and back home. Obviously, on a much much smaller scale than Apollo 11, the single focus and purpose of the “Pathway Project” was to bring two more extraordinary students from the Copey community to our country and to the Emory & Henry College campus. This too involved the collaboration of various partners working together successfully. These partners are found in Copey, the Pacific Northwest, throughout Virginia including the college campus, and supporters from all over including New Orleans, Honolulu, and places like Asheville, Charlotte, and Raleigh, North Carolina to mention just a few.

Largest “Friends of Copey” gathering since forming in early 2014  

The day following their arrival on campus, an exciting reception was held to officially welcome our guests. The event was hosted by Dr. Celeste Gaia and George Whitley.  Many “Friends” attended the reception and expressed their interest and support for the “Pathway Project”.  As seen below in their traditional/cultural attire, Fatima and Adriana performed a dance unique to their region and community.

Reception 1

We were joined by Melody Lipford, our EH volunteer student who just returned from Copey after nearly 5 weeks of service at the Learning Center. Her mother also attended and confirmed that Melody returned home from Copey a different young lady.

Reception 2

Arthur, Fatima, Melody, Adriana, and Ana Yancy

Melody is a more confident and determined young student who has been inspired to continue moving along her educational path. The entire reception was an even richer experience for us all as Melody had the opportunity to share the reception with those she worked with over the past month.

This first week for the students is designed to be mostly fun, with site-seeing, and various recreational activities. Most of our photos will show these special times over the next several days.

Lake 1

Adriana and Fatima Paddle Boating

You will see photos from their Washington, D.C. site-seeing adventures and their time at Natural Bridge and the underground caverns in Virginia. Since arriving on campus, the official reception has been held and yesterday afternoon time was spent at the famous Hungry Mother State Park and then pizza last night. All this has been done with still bowling, hiking, biking and much more to do before classes start next week on campus for the students.

We plan to show you as much as possible all of the experiences accumulating during this and next week. But, what we cannot easily show is the enormous impact this “Pathway Project” has on these students and the impact this will have on other Learning Center students and the community. Their excitement and their enjoyment is clearly evident in every aspect of their day. This helps me understand how much I and others take for granted living in this USA.

“Friends of Copey”, this is a very proud time for us. We have applied our many resources and talents to the “Pathway Project”.  “Friends”, regardless of the type of support you have provided be it spiritual, financial, or even emotional…all of it has been needed and has contributed to the success of this project. Even if you are a short timer or have been on board as a “Friend” from the very beginning, this is a time for celebration because                                                                          “The Eagle Has Landed!”