If No Struggle…No Progress!

“If you are on the RIGHT path…it will always be going uphill.”    by Henry B . Eyring

The “Pathway Project”

Nearly four years ago when conversations began about the vision of one or more Copey students traveling to Emory & Henry College (E&H College), the vision did not have a name. When the idea began to take shape, the hurdles crossed, and various parts and pieces were being put in place, the work involved seemed to be a process of making a “pathway” to or from someplace not traveled before. As Dr. Gaia and I came closer to seeing this become reality, it dawned on us to also consider E&H College students going to Copey. I have come to refer to this two-way journey as the “Pathway Project” since we have Copey students traveling to our college and college students traveling to Copey.

pathway images
“A Pathway to Success”

On May 14, Melody Lipford will be landing in San Jose, Costa Rica. She is this year’s E&H College student volunteering at the Copey Learning Center and will represent the 4th volunteer “Friends” has been closely involved in. Melody has already been interfacing with Ana Yancy and Angela over the past several weeks as part her preparation for rural living in Costa Rica and becoming part of the Copey community.

Based on prior experiences, we know Melody will have an extraordinary experience in


the Copey community.  The “Pathway Project’s” maiden journey last year involved our college students Xavier and Casey. Both were very welcomed by the Copey community and were treated with the genuine warmth and receptivity the way only Copey students can provide. Similar to last year, we will monitor Melody’s “pathway” experience as much as possible to share with “Friends”.

On June 11th, Melody will return with our Learning Center guests; students Fatima and Adriana together with Executive Director Ana Yancy. Angela, who chaperoned our Copey students last year, will again travel from Copey to lead the way. Being a very experienced Washington, D.C. tour guide, she is already making plans for each of them to attend the New York City Ballet performance once they arrive in our nation’s capital. Then the journey down Interstate 81 will include probable stops at the Natural Bridge and the Luray Caverns coupled with other tourist attractions. It is safe to say that before the Copey guests even reach the entry of the E&H College campus, they will already have a suitcase full of lifetime memories to take home. We can all be proud of the development and use of the “Pathway Project”. I give the credit to Dr. Gaia and her colleagues for putting in the time and effort to make this work.

The New Learning Center Update

We are continuing to gather and assemble the necessary information needed to submitIMG_1434 (2)our first formal application for the new “Learning Center”. Unfortunately, due to other current commitments, 100% of our time can not be devoted to this effort until mid summer. However, some work is being done almost daily and this slow process is complying with the time-table we decided on. So we are not behind. From our vantage point, this new Learning Center is an extremely important goal and our efforts should reflect the quality and dedication it deserves. This will without doubt become one of “Friends of Copey’s” biggest “partnership” efforts ever. Keep praying!

Similar to the “Pathway Project”, we will stay committed and devoted to this vision and in time “pathways” to success will open up. My Dad often said to me…“if it was easy, everybody (anybody) would be doing it.”  I am looking forward to this time next year and excited about the things I will be writing to you about then. We have been blessed, we are blessed, and there still are blessing yet to be had.  Stay connected.



Leave a Reply