Be A Good Neighbor…!

“Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder. ”   By  John F. Kennedy

“Making Neighbors!

Just the other day I was forwarded a link featuring a story about The Pathway Project, the great partnership between our college and Copey, and my personal involvement. The title of the story is “The Man Who Made Emory & Henry College and Costa Rica Neighbors” authored by Monica Hoel. She has held the position of Alumni Director for E&H College for nearly 30 years.

My hat is off to the college for continuing to show such a strong interest and desire to support this project. Having our story told in such a quality fashion along with the opportunity to reach so many people, is greatly appreciated. I highly recommend you checking out this link: Hoel.1

Note: The link above also has a link to a recent radio broadcast covering the Pathway Project. 

Monica is one of those extraordinary human fixtures you will find on the E&H College campus. She is so good at her work that much success is taken for granted. Or worse, Monica’s accomplishments often are unknown or unnoticed. This is very typical of those who tackle a task first with their heart, then their head. She is fun and dedicated. She really cares about students and perceives each student as a future E&H College alumni. And, she is very engaged from start to finish with the Pathway Project.

During the “Annual Reception” held for the visiting Copey students back in June, I made the following comment about Monica in my short speech; “if I had to explain to anyone what it means to have the heart of a servant…I would have them personally meet Monica”. She is truly such a person. And, she is joined by others on campus who also work wonders for the Pathway Project.

The Copey Learning Center Reopens

The Learning Center has been on a two week mid-year vacation and teaching will resume this week. There has not been much of a vacation on my end. Each year the Pathway Project requires some closeout activities to be attended to. I look forward to issuing the final news and results of the Pathway Project next week. Pathway display

I also plan to make some special announcements next week about the Copey Learning Center.

And, a presentation is scheduled with my Kiwanis Club in late August. The membership will hear about this year’s 2019 Pathway Project and I will include a picture board depicting all four years of the Pathway Project. There will be a couple other items to show and this should be a real fun time of sharing.

I am always ready to do a presentation if any nearby “Friends” have a school, church, or club this may interest.

“Friends make the best neighbors!”






Being Compassionate…Investing

“The failure to invest in youth reflects a lack of compassion and a colossal failure of common sense.”     By Coretta Scott King

The Copey Learning Center is on a two week vacation at this time so there is very little information to report on from there.

In other news, we are still excited over the recent 2019 Pathway Project as I have begun to officially bring everything to a close.

Since the dust has settled and activities have slowed down considerably, it occured to me these 2019 Pathway Students have been involved with the Learning Center for several years. I have practically watched them grow since “Friends of Copey” began in late 2013.

Looking back over the photos I have collected and have shared with you, I thought I would share some of them again. These photos are of Mariana who has been attending the Learning Center for several years.


mariana-3    20151015_142508   Mariana FabrianaSpelling Bee Candidates

Some of you will also remember how successful Mariana was as a Spelling Bee participant. Each year of competition she would move closer and closer to becoming a 1st place winner on the national level. There are many of these success stories since we have been closely watching many Copey students grow and develop over the years.

The 2019 Pathway Project was very exciting and rewarding as many of you actually met Mariana and saw up close what a wonderful young lady she has become. She exudes so much confidence and maturity. Group Photo

I also have old photos of the two other Pathway students dating back a few years. Dayana and Jimena, similar to Mariana were so young when they began their English education and also have become very excellent young students.

Thank you for helping these students, for being compassionate, and for investing in their future as they become confident and amazing young folks. 



2019 Pathway Project…”Excelente!”

Friends, we really enjoy sharing photos. Especially, when they show the wonderful times all had over the two weeks of the 2019 Pathway Project. Remember…the previous three Posts have also included photos.

Just to recap…! On June 10th, Dayan, Jimena, Mariana, and chaperone Catalina departed Group Photo.pngCosta Rica on their journey to America. First stop, Washington, DC where they were greeted by Zina Griffith. Zina, their official host for the evening and most of the day on June 11th, provided the tour of the most popular sites in our nation’s capital.

The second host was Matthew Krauss and his family who took over late in the evening on June 11th. His family provided dinner, overnight accommodations, and provided breakfast before Monica Hoel, host #3, picked up the guests and made the nearly 5 hour journey to Emory & Henry College.

Arriving on campus early evening on June 12, the guests were greeted, provided dinner and sleeping accommodations. The following Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, our guests were welcomed by additional hosts each day and provided an array of special activities designed to educate, inform, and entertain.

Activities included; serious shopping, an outdoor concert, sculpturing class, nature walk at Hungry Mother State Park, visit to historical Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee, pizza meals, trampoline jumping, volleyball, the “Annual Reception”, and church attendance to only mention a few of the events they enjoyed. Natural Bridge.2

Abingdon Concert 2.pngThe hosts from Washington, DC, Warrinton, Virginia, and the army of volunteers who managed the majority of the time while on campus where the best folks representing both the college and “Friends of Copey”.    

One event quickly becoming the “premiere” annual “Pathway Project’ event is the “Annual Reception”. This event is very significant for two reasons. First, the reception offers our guests a single opportunity to actually meet and thank those who are devoted supporters of the Dayana Arthur.2Pathway Project. This includes performing their cultural dance and verbalizing their personal appreciation for the opportunity to visit America and the EH College campus. 

And, the “Annual Reception” provides “Friends” with the only opportunity each year to gather in one single location, visit one another, and all together as a quasi organization, welcome our guests.

Jake Schrum ReceptionWe were honored to have the college President, Jake Schrum join us this year. President Schrum provided our guests a small gift in recognition of their success and to welcome them to our compus.

This “Annual Reception” grows each year and we look forward to reaching 50 guests attending in 2020. Virginia Tennessee.png

The guests enjoyed hanging out on State Street, the iconic main street that divides the two states, Virginia and Tennessee.

Perhaps, one of the best times was when Dayana, Jimena, and Mariana were invited to perform their cultural dance performance on the final morning of the Young Scholars program in front of all the scholars.

You can hardly imagine the thrill and the honor these young ladies felt dressed in their beautiful and culturally designed attire and performing their authentic dance to perfection.Last Dance

Does it get any better than this? They spent the entire “Young Scholars” week engaged in a variety of activities with other students from around the region learning together and exchanging life experiences.

It is true that young folks often teach each other the best and most memorable lessons. I gaze at the photo showing their performance and I see three young ladies who came to campus to learn…but I also see three young ladies who taught us a few things also.

DanceMy heartfelt thanks to all of those on campus who spend so much of their time each summer conducting the “Young Scholars and Leadership” program.

Certainly, “Friends” enjoy having the guests from Copey experience our nation’s capital, visit the EH College campus, enjoy life in southwest Virginia, and greet and meet so many “Friends” who support them.

BUT, the opportunity for these students to attend the “Young Scholars” program is a tremendous benefit. And, it is a true benefit for all the students who attend. Keep up the great work! Thanks Jordan Graham for running such a tremendous program.


Final Special Post

“While we are living in the present, we must celebrate life every day, knowing that we are becoming history with every work, every action, every deed.”                                            By   Mattie Stepanek

Just Landed!

I received the text message Saturday afternoon announcing “We just landed, everything is okay”. The message was sent by our guests reporting they had safely returned to Costa Rica after nearly 12 days in the United States. Catalina, Dayana, Jimena, and Mariana returning home completed the final stage of the “2019 Pathway Project”.Scholar.pic4Scholars.pic 1

Some of the memorable photos today include the students spending their second week as participants in the “Young Scholars” program. They made new student friends and participated in learning skills, solving problems, and bonding activities making the second week as enjoyable as the first week in our country.  Scholar.pic5

On the final day of “Young Scholars”, Dayana, Jimena, and Mariana  were invited to perform their cultural dances before a packed house of students and adults. Great performance!

We cannot say “thank you” enough to


Catalina Cortes. The duties of chaperone is an awesome responsibility. The chaperone is accountable for the students 24 hours a day and keeps in touch with moms and dads back home to assure them things are going well. And, the chaperone also must interact and coordinate numerous activities with a wide range of campus staff, faculty, and volunteer supporters from the day of arrival until departure. The chaperone’s responsibility is “awesome”.

Catalina did an outstanding job and she follows a line of very competent past chaperones including Ana Yancy and Angela Ramos. We are so fortunate in so many ways. Catalina…job well done!

State of Financial Affairs

Thank you “Friends” who have inquired about our fundraising efforts. I extend my gratitude to all who have donated funds to support this “2019 Pathway Project”.  This project cannot happen without your financial support.

The very short version of our financial situation as of today is “we are still short of funds” to completely close out this project. I do not have the final report on expenses incurred from last week yet. And, I am still expecting to receive two or more donations promised a couple of weeks ago. So I can only speculate that all expenses will be covered with the incoming donations or we could be short as much as $600.00. If the promised donations or other donations are not received by this time next week, other measures will be taken to make up the difference so we can close the financial book on this year’s project. This project has again proven to be very worthwhile and cost efficient at approximately $1,100.00 per person.

If you are still intending to donate but have not yet done so, please do so quickly! 

Please use the guidelines below to submit your donation:

Donation Guidelines

I plan to issue another Post very soon with only photos and comments to share. I thank everyone for an unforgettable two weeks.


Another Special Post

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”     By Arthur Ashe

Can you ever get tired of joy? Can you ever get enough of just seeing good and wonderful people doing just great and amazing things? I may have come close this week but NO…you never get tired of seeing good!

This has been a week filled with an overflowing of generosity and service. And, the results have been beyond description. Since the guests from Copey, Costa Rica arrived in Washington, DC late Monday night until the present, this has been a continuation of volunteers at work and back to back activities. So many amazing things have been done in very unselfish ways. I think the best I can do is just provide a few photos of the week. photo Pond



Church service


“Hidden Figures Way”

Katherine Johnson (Aunt Katherine), Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson were the recipients of yet another great honor this week with the renaming of a popular street in Washington, DC, now named “Hidden Figures Way”.Hidden Figures Way

The street outside NASA headquarters serves to honor all the women who worked as “human computers” at Langley Research Center in Virginia at the time racial segregation and gender discrimination were commonplace.

Katherine Johnson

We continue to be especially proud of these women and particularly proud of Aunt Katherine who is the only surviving member of the three women highlighted in the film.

Deepest Appreciation to all of the “Friends of Copey, E&H College, and my hometown Kiwanis Club.

A special “Happy Father’s Day” to all the Dads!

Special Post

The Best has arrived…! We are excited to see the 2019 Pathway Project students (Dayana, Jimena, and Mariana arrive at the Emory & Henry College campus and things are moving quickly.

The journey to the E&H College campus was filled with fast pace excitement as well. Pathway 2019 Natural BridgeThe guests arrived in Washington, DC on Monday night and following dinner and they all needed some rest. Tuesday was a very full day visiting as many as 5 historical sites, and fighting traffic for several hours to late in the evening to connect with their next host outside of DC. Pathway 2019 Lincoln 2

Wednesday morning, they headed off to EH College but taking time to visit the Natural Bridge and underground caverns. When they arrived on campus early evening, they were treated to a cookout and sent to bed for some well deserved rest.Pathway 2019 Bear

Thursday, the students enjoyed spending time in historic Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee, “shop till you drop”, enjoyed the food, and then still had time for an outdoor concert. No doubt, the bed once again must have felt extremely inviting at the end of another long day for some weary folks.

Today, Friday is another full day. They will visit historic Marion, Virginia…my hometown and will be escorted by another one our excellent hosts. The destination is Hungry Mother State Park for some nature walks, paddle boating, and possibly swimming. Then, this evening is the big “Welcome Reception”. We can hardly wait!Pathway 2019 white house

This annual event (Reception) is so important to us all now as we enjoy this rare opportunity to actually meet students from Copey. These students have been assisted by the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund many of you annually support. The students have the opportunity to meet “Friends of Copey”, staff and faculty representing EH College, and others who help make this all possible. Even the EH College students who have volunteered in Copey and parents join in as we recognize their involvement in the “Pathway Project”.

On behalf of all the “Friends of Copey”, thank you for all you do to make this a very special time for so many.

Stay tuned in for there is much more to come!






Friends Believe in Friends!

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”          By Abraham Lincoln

Today is extremely special and a day all of us “Friends of Copey” should enjoy and rejoice. Only minutes ago, I confirmed our four guests from the Copey Learning Center are now in America and checked in to their hotel near Washington, DC. This news represents months of planning and preparing, involving many supporters both financially and non-financially.

Pathway 2019

Jemina, Dayana, Mariana, and Catalina before departing Costa Rica

Now, the stage is set for the next two weeks with a full slate of activities and an army of local “Friends” going all out to do their best as hosts and great “Friends”.  Tomorrow, my cousin Zina will treat our guests to some site-seeing in Washington, DC, then transfer the guests to Matt Krauss where they will spend the evening in Warrenton, Virginia. Matt was one of last year’s EH College’s Pathway Project students who volunteered in Copey. He and his family will  provide food and lodging tomorrow evening. Wednesday morning, Monica from EH College will take over and return the guests to the college campus. On the way to Emory, Virginia she will add some special side-trips for the guests to enjoy.

Pathway 2019 Arrival

Waiting for departure in Miami

These and other supporters will go the extra mile to make the two weeks on our campus a memorable experience. There is so much more to come as the next several days pass.  And, 99% of the activities will be led by enthusiastic volunteer supporters.

It is very difficult to list in its entirety all the many large and small contributions people make for all this to happen and happen in an extraordinary way. Very simply put…the “hearts of servants” are always leading the way.

2019 Pathway Project…Urgent Call!!!

The Goal:  $5,600.00   Actual Income: $3,422.00    Deadline:  June 5, 2019

Several “Friends” have inquired about the funding situation for this year’s Pathway Project. I appreciate your concerns and this is the current situation provided straight and clear.

The bad news is that we likely will come up a little short of the funds we believed are needed to do the project well and appropriate. The adjustments will be made but I am expecting they will be minor.

But, we have some good news!  Several donors over the past few days have promised to send in their donation. If all these donors match their 2018 donations, we will come close to our goal.

If you are still sitting on the sideline thinking about making a donation, we are still open for business. We have contingency plans to make certain we do all that is needed to make the 2019 Pathway Project a huge success. How much of these plans we will need to implement depends how much is needed at the end of the project to cover all our expenses. “HIS will be done!” 

Guidelines for Donating Below:

The “Annual Reception” Invitation

Two years ago, George Whitley, a close “Friend” and EH College Trustee, offered to open his home and host a reception for the students when they arrived at our campus in 2017. The offer was quickly accepted and a tradition began as we now welcome guests annually. I confess, I did not realize at first this would have so much deep and personal meaning/value.

Emory 36

George with Ana Yancy and Arthur

We are now preparing for our third “Annual Reception” and its significance has become almost beyond my comprehension. The guest list grows! This annual gathering of “Friends of Copey” is now important beyond simply gathering for a cookout at George’s. This “reception” is now viewed as a serious opportunity to be together as “Friends” and to be visually united in support of the Copey Learning Center and its work.

I am sorry my west coast “Friends” cannot easily attend but there are quite a number of “Friends” in and around the EH College campus who could attend. “Friends” are located in southwest Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, east Tennessee, and even Pennsylvania join in. Come one and come all. Come and witness miracles on display! 

Early thanks to George for his unmatched generosity and support for the “Annual Reception”.

Donation Guidelines