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


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.  

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.


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!”



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!