Arthur T. Broady email@example.com
Retired and reside in Washington State.
I am very happy to share my part of my biography with you my “Friends”. I hope you will learn more about me and possibly learn how I arrived at this point in my life.
If I had to do a simple elevator speech about me I would simply say this:
“I believe I am the sum total of all my experiences in life. I am today the person I believe God has been working on me to become at this stage. I believe to get to this place I am today, I needed those valleys to appreciate the peaks I get to enjoy. I needed the really bad times to know when times are good. And, I believe the pains in life have taught me to appreciate joys in life.”
That would be the end of the elevator speech and you would really know all there is important to know. But there is more:
Recently, I borrowed a quote from Bishop T.D. Jakes...”If you can’t figure out your purpose, then figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”
I fully agree. My passion and purpose are what drives me each day. Here is part of my story:
My Early Life included growing up in Southwest Virginia. I lived very near the Tennessee border and attended high school (Douglass High) in Bristol, Virginia. This is the famous city with the main street split down the middle. On one side is Virginia and the other side is Tennessee. I spent my final year of high school at Marion Senior High in my hometown, Marion, Virginia.
My College Life!
In 1966, I enrolled in Emory & Henry College. The campus was located about 20 miles from my home town.
My collegiate legacy includes being the first black male full time student to enroll in the college…added being the first black also to wear the college’s blue and gold football uniform.
My football career was far more notable than my academic accomplishments.
The football honors include being a member of the college’s Sports Hall of Fame with one unbroken football record still on the books after more than 50 years. For the record, there are no academic notables either good or bad. Although, I did obtain my hard earned degree in English and Education in 1970.
My Military Life!
Following nearly 6 months of teaching elementary school in Prince George’s County, Maryland, I was drafted into military service. This was the Viet Nam Era and the mandatory draft was still active. I joined the US Air Force and served my country by working in Personnel.
My service time was spent at Lackland AFB, Texas; Keesler AFB, MS; Malmstrom AFB, MT; and Elmendorf AFB, AK.
I survived the military service time which consisted of three years, eight months, fourteen days, and twelve hours at time of my honorable discharge. Do not misunderstand, I am extremely proud to have served my country and would do it again if called on. I just know I was far more suited to be a civilian because my transition time back to civilian life required about a day!
After Military Life!
Immediately after fulfilling my military service obligation, I went to work to support the Alaska Pipeline Project based in Anchorage and was later employed by the City of Anchorage. I remained in Alaska about 4 years past my military discharge date in December 1974.
I departed Alaska in 1978 to relocate to a more friendly and warmer climate. I ended up in Washington state and I have resided in Tri-Cities, Washington since my relocation.
Living in Washington State
For more than 40 years I have lived in Tri-Cities, Washington. The community has been a wonderful place for me to live. Most non-Washingtonians have little familiarity with the eastern part of the state. Most assume there is not much going on but rain and evergreen trees. Not so…there is very little rain and hardly any evergreen trees to see. Can you spell “desert”?
I have been very active in both business and community service. My career has included a variety of professions; Human Resources, Government Contracting, Skills Center Director, and etc.
Equally important to me has been my very active community related services including Kiwanis, Shriners, United Way, School Board President, and college trustee among many other endeavors.
Present Day Retirement. I officially retired in October 2008 but the real truth is I am not retired. I love life far too much to sit around and grow older. My days are full researching information about my sixth great grandfather (a slave during the American Revolution). I am an active Officiant and a reading and writing tutor for school students in all grades.
My Real Passion for Service
While traveling with friends to Costa Rica to deep sea fish in January 2011, I found the country very beautiful and the people very friendly. I was often told by Costa Ricans during the trip they wanted to learn English. In fact, the country was desperately looking for English teachers.
Over the next few months, I thought often about returning to Costa Rica to work as a volunteer English teacher. I made arrangements to visit an English school during a return trip to Costa Rica in January 2013. The school was located in Copey, Costa Rica.
I arranged an interview with the Founder and her assistant. That is when it first happened. I had that “Road to Damascus” experience. This sudden spiritual event came on me very suddenly during the interview. It was real and profound. In that moment, I could not fully interpret the actual meaning or message and unable/unwilling to share the experience with others, including the Founder.
However, it was very clear I was not going to complete the interview and become a volunteer English teacher. There would be something very different in store for me and my relationship with the Copey Learning Center.
I believe it was during that spiritual event when “Friends of Copey” was conceived. The moment when the thought or idea first arrived.
Later in October 2013, I returned to Copey and again met with the Founder and confirmed my desire to be a “Friend” and supporter of the efforts to educate students in the Copey community.
In December 2013, I invited seventeen family members and friends to join me as a group called “Friends of Copey”. Then, “Friends of Copey” was born.
In 2021, we now account for over one hundred “Friends” providing a wide range of support to the Copey Learning Center. This Blog serves as evidence for the variety of ways the passion and the purpose have worked together to accomplish far more than my short volunteer teaching assignment would have achieved. We have been Blessed.