“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” Mandy Hale
Year 2022...another year of major accomplishments. And, these accomplishments are very different than prior years’ achievements. This report will highlight those wonderful events that hit the high mark for the year.
First Semester…1st Home Run
The year began with the Copey Learning Center continuing online educational services with two superstars providing online teaching. Jane Rutledge and Sonya Boyko were the first semester’s “Dream Team” volunteers again. Both Jane and Sonya have acquired much Copey online teaching experience from prior years of support. Jane from North Carolina and Sonya teaching from Toronto provided the students the best educational services possible (Photo: Jane left and Sonya right).
Also, Anyela Ulloa Mora was tasked with managing the day to day operations at the Copey Learning Center.
Second Semester…2nd Home Run
Slowly returning to on-site teaching, the Copey Learning Center worked with a hybrid arrangement. Jane and Sonya continued teaching online and our first official on-site volunteer arrived in Copey.
Genna MacFarlan from the University of California at Berkely arrived in Copey in June. Full of energy, excitement, and passion Genna immediately embraced all of the culture and uniqueness the community could offer.
This was a very special time for me personally. Being a friend of Genna’s parents for several years, Genna physically in Copey teaching was an amazing thrill for me and an even greater thrill for her parents.
Third Semester…a 3rd Home Run
Could we continue hitting home runs? Of course we could. Next up was Emma Terry. She was another great talent. She received her degree from Arizona University, then spent two years studying in Spain at the Instituto Franklin.
Her arrival in Copey was similar to Genna’s. Energy, excitement, and passion were all the attributes Emma brought to Copey. She lost no time establishing herself as a competent and capable teacher.
Emma’s grandparents have been friends of mine for many years. Emma was an undergraduate when I first met her. Then, she expressed her strong interest in going to Copey one day to teach. She successfully completed the semester and now plans to return to Copey in the Spring. More on that later.
The Pathway Project 2022
The Pathway Project resumed this year after being shut down for two years. Two excellent Copey students journeyed to the United States and were chaperoned by Catalina Cortes. This was Catalina’s second trip as chaperone and all things went exceptionally well (Photo: Anyela, Catalina, and Fabiana at E&H College). A large “Friends” reception was held to greet our guests with George Whitley as host.
This project is important. There are dozens of volunteers spread out from Virginia to Washington state who devote time, energy, and financial resources to make this project possible and a major success. The volunteer hours compiled by those supporting the Pathway Project is significant. Clearly…these volunteers are priceless!
Other Notable Events…Donors Go To Copey
The Copey Learning Center was very busy with donors/supporters visiting the community. We exceeded. This was an extraordinary year. In May Cyndy Sharer traveled to Costa Rica to visit her sister living near San Jose. She and her sister journeyed to Copey to visit.
In July, Genna’s mother traveled to Costa Rica to enjoy a daughter-mother vacation while the Copey Learning Center was on their school break. Cynthia spent quality time at the Copey Learning Center and the community during her vacation with her daughter.
Then in August Dr. Ed Davis and Dr. Shelley Koch of Emory & Henry College, Virginia, traveled to Costa Rica and Copey to explore the viability of bringing several of their college students to the country in December. Dr. Davis has been a major supporter of the Pathway Project since it began in 2016.
The professors and students visited the country and spent three important days in the Copey community. While in Copey, the college students conducted educational programs with the Copey students.
Cindy and Larry Windes were included in the reception each visitor were provided. The Windes are exceptional supporters and hosts residing nearby Copey.
Two Special Presentations Given
Sharing information is extremely important for the sustainability and continuity of “Friends of Copey.” In July, Tri-Cities Industry Kiwanis Club, my home town Club, was provided their annual presentation on “Friends of Copey”. The club members enjoyed a rare online visit with the Copey Learning Center. Members spoke directly with Genna who was located in Copey at that time. Genna’s mother Cynthia and Cyndy Sharer both were present at the club meeting and contributed to the presentation.
More recently, another annual update was presented online to the local Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Columbia Basin Alumni Chapter led by President Vivian Terrell. Other attendees included Dr. Davis and Dr. Koch located in Copey. Also, Copey Learning Center staff Anyela and Emma were joined by the Board Chairwoman, Catalina. We regard this presentation a major event connecting in real time all these supporters with the Copey Learning Center. The information and interchange was exceptional.
Not much imagination is required to see the value of Non-financial support. Volunteer teachers and supporters provide a wide range of services including hosting receptions, traveling to Copey, chaperoning our Copey guests around Virginia’s southwest region, other local transportation support, and many other acts of kindness far too many to mention. This raises the potential monetary value of non-financial support into thousands of dollars donated with personal time and resources. This is not insignificant!
Friends of Copey would not exist without donated services. Possibly, we have mastered servicing the needs with volunteers who have the “hearts of a servant.”