Starting Point…Desire!

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”   By Pele

The Copey Learning Center reopens today after a two-week break. Consequently, there is very little news about things going on at the Learning Center.

I will share a few more photos for your enjoyment. Also, the financial portion for the recent “Pathway Project for 2018” is not officially closed at this hour, but I can report the

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Reception Host George Whitley

project is a financial success. We have received sufficient funds via donations to cover all of the expenses for this project. All of the financial side of this project went very well although some of the donations came in later than planned. I will have more to report next week on the finances. For now, I thank each of you for your very generous support.

I also plan to provide a summary report on the Emory 20non-financial support I call the “in-kind support”.  This year’s project really thrived on this kind of support. Certainly, “in-kind support” has always been there. However, this year it was vividly clear the project would not have been this big success withoutemory 33 supporters contributing their time and non-financial resources. I will highlight and celebrate both the financial and non-financial efforts in upcoming reports. emory-56.jpg

“Friends” has just ended the first six months of this year and we have been very busy accumulating successes and victories. In short summary, we successfully completed three fundraising efforts, assisted in the Utah team’s visit to Copey, and successfully completed the “Pathway Project”…to mention only the major highlights.

I will now locate my fishing gear and go find a quite river bank to spend some quiet time. There is still plenty to do over the next five months but I need a short break.

You all are an amazing group of “Friends”. I thank you!

 

 

Travel Well Your Journey…!

“Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.”    By  Oliver Goldsmith

It seems difficult to imagine it has been two weeks since Ana Yancy and the rest of the Costa Rican guests returned home. Their two weeks in America visiting us also went by just as fast.

I have visited with Ana Yancy via Skype and it was a very fun time reminiscing and recounting the many diverse experiences she and the others enjoyed. We focused much of our attention on the first week when most of the recreational activities were planned. During the second week, the two students were very busy participating with other students as members of the Summer Scholars and Leadership Program while Ana Yancy and Dihianna were conducting classes on Costa Rica.emory 52 Capturing class photos and detailed information is more challenging when everyone is participating in classes.

But, we have a few photos to share. And, the news is very positive regarding the success both students had interacting with their peers during the week. (Brian is on far right.)

We have learned that Lourdes and Brian met many new friends and became popular for adding a unique cultural experience for other students. Also, they experienced new cultures and had the opportunity to utilize their English communication skills while enjoying possibly a once in a life-time experience. All this is “priceless”. By all accounts, Lourdes and Brian left the campus much different from their arrival two weeks earlier. (Below Lourdes in the center back row and Brian third from far right.)emory-48-e1531064018914.jpgemory-32.jpgEMOry 37emory 39emory 38

One of the reoccurring revelations I have had over the past several weeks (and there has been many), is just how many lives are touched in many positive ways by the “Pathway Project”.

We can start with the students of the Learning Center, then the Copey emory 40community and parents, financial donors and college affiliated supporters stretching across our country, my Kiwanis Club, and many personal friends and family.

Then, as I look at these photos, even the students attending the Summer Scholars and Leadership Program have been touched in ways we will never know.  We now have six Learning Center student ambassadors representing the “Pathway Project” positioned in the Copey community to provide positive influences and encouragements to those wishing to follow the ambassadors’ footsteps to America.

For you as it is for me, the total impact of our collective work and support for this project is beyond our ability to fully comprehend. It all works…thanks to you “Friends”.

Sad News!

I wish to dedicate this Post to a dear friend and a devoted “Friend of Copey” who passed away suddenly this past week. Winton Lackey was a 1955 graduate of Emory & Henry College, long-time strong college supporter, past E&H Trustee, member of the E&H Sports Hall of Fame, successful business and family man, and much much more as a kind, loving, and generous person.Lackey

When I became an E&H Trustee seven years ago, Winton was the first among the Trustees to welcome me with a big smile and his arms wide open. He served as my mentor while I watched him demonstrate in meetings his commitment and devotion to the college by serving in accordance with the principles he lived by. Without question, Winton’s love for E&H College was evident every minute I had the pleasure to be in his presence. We enjoyed sharing our political views and our perceptions of the world. In addition, he and his wife Donna have been very strong supporters of “Friends of Copey”. The “Pathway Project” would have never become what it is today without their support.

Winton’s life-journey was rich and full. This is a true loss of one of the “good guys” and on behalf of the many “Friends of Copey”, we express our sincere condolences to Donna and the family.

 

 

 

Small Acts of Kindness…continued!

“Friends”… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.”               by  Henry David Thoreau

There are still many photos documenting the “Pathway Project’s” two weeks of activities.  Imagine how different things are in America and the many impressions the students experienced and carried home. The project is blessed to have so many “Friends” involved and devoted to making this a life-changing experience.

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And then, consider the reactions and feelings of those in Copey who welcome home these returning students. The potential and positive impact Brian and Lourdes will have on students wanting to be the next ones selected for the “Pathway Project” will be tremendous.

                                  Again…thank you “Friends”!

 

“Small Acts of Kindness…Wins!”

“Copey changed my life and I will cherish my experience there forever”.                   By    Kara Stewart, Emory & Henry College Student and Pathway Project Learning Center Volunteer 

Today, our Costa Rican guests have safely returned home to Copey. Their time spent with us was nothing short of amazing. This week, I will hold back on the written message and let you see some of the photos taken during their visit. They tell the story of an unforgettable experience for the students and a memorable time for all of us.

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These photos are only the tip of the iceberg. Small acts of kindness were behind each photo taken. It was someone’s willingness to be involved that provided our guests with a vast array of experiences representing the many aspects of our lives and culture. Equally important, small acts of kindness appeared in financial donations as well. Both financial and in-kind support together formed impressions of kindness and their impressions have been taken back to Copey to be shared with others and will be relived many times.

Thanks again to everyone for being supportive and doing an unbelievable job hosting and going the extra mile (or two) to bring real meaning, life, and purpose to the “Pathway Project for 2018”.

I would like to close with a few comments written by my cousin, Zina Griffith. This is Zina’s first contact with the “Pathway Project” and her message is similar to many others who participated as “Pathway” hosts and supporters this year. Zina writes:

Dear Scrapper,
Congratulations, you finally devised a way to weave me into your vision. I was honored to be included in the greeting, hosting and serving of Ana, Dahiana, Lourdes, and Brian on their arrival to Washington, DC. Your grand vision has afforded so many of us the opportunity to contribute, hopefully, in meaningful and developmental ways. What a treat it was to witness the enthusiasm and excitement displayed by the scholars as we briefly toured around DC. Again, thank you Scrapper for figuring out how to include me into your wonderful journey.

Always,
Cousin Zina

 

 

Thanks to Friends

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

It has been one week since the Costa Rican guests landed in Washington, DC. Neither space nor time will allow me to cover all the many different places and experiences they have enjoyed since their arrival. No exaggeration! Each day has been a full day of planned activities.

One highlight was the (now) annual reception which involves many “Friends” gathering to officially welcome our guests. Our guest host treated us with emory group 11a sumptuous meal outside in wonderful country evening air. There were short presentations spoken in very good English provided by the students and a cultural dance routine the students created specifically for their trip to America.

Trampoline jumping, bowling, the theater, shopping malls, constant eating, and other activities made up the week. Places visited included site-seeing in DC, the Natural Bridge, the Luray Caverns, two church services, a concert, and Hungry Mother State Park to mention a few.  Emory group 10

Starting today, they all are on a different plan.  They are enrolled in the Summer Scholars Institute and Leadership program on the Emory & Henry campus. Lourdes and Brian will join other students from area schools and schools from other states in course study work on a variety of activities designed to broaden academic interests and building leadership skills.  emory group 12

Ana Yancy and Dihiana will participate in the Summer Scholars event by conducting classes on Costa Rican culture, history, and customs. More reports to follow.

Health Report

On a completely different note, several “Friends” are aware Braxton, my 10-year-old grandson, underwent a serious surgical procedure last Monday to correct a bone development problem in his chest. The operation went well and there has been no after surgery problems to speak of. Now, he is working to get his body healed and back to being a 10-year-old. Just slow going but we are certain he will soon be 100% back to normal.

Gratitude! 

There are no limits in gratitude I have for this life, my family and “Friends”, and the opportunity to see visions become reality. This past week alone I have said more heartfelt “Thank You’s” to others than you can imagine and came nowhere close to saying enough. I am very grateful.

“Thank You “Friends”

The Eagle Lands Again…!

“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.”   by  Zig Ziglar
The “Pathway Project for 2018” is officially underway. Ana Yancy and her students arrived in Washington, DC Saturday afternoon. Zina Griffith, my cousin and life-long   zina and guestsresident of the DC area and retired public school teacher, greeted them upon arrival. Since retirement, Zina spends her time teaching English in DC to Spanish-speaking students. Being a devoted “Friend”, she stepped in to those big shoes Angela filled for two years. Thank you.

The Pathway Project Fundraising Campaign is over. With a very small number of promised donations pending, we expect to meet our goal. Some of our planned costs have gone down because of very generous in-kind support. For example, the wonderful meals being enjoyed by our guests as shown in the photo was covered by Zina. The hosting support provided by Zina also cut local DC transportation costs.

Monica Hoel, our college’s famous Alumni Director, provided significant in-kind support by personally transporting our guests from the DC area to the campus which included site-seeing tours and meals along the way.  During the previous two years, we emory Group 2had rental car and other expenses as our guests made their way from DC to our campus.

When the “Pathway Project” is complete, I will provide a detailed report on the financial results of our efforts. Based on today’s info, we are in really good shape.

In the past, I have shared my thoughts about “partnerships”. Getting folks and organizations engaged to work together for a common purpose is vital and can be seen most vividly in action with a project such as this. When it is all said and done…we have clearly five organizations along with all the donors, and those many others providing in-kind support from Copey to E&H College, all engaged making this happen.  So many of you in so many different roles to thank…!

We are all now set for a couple of weeks of full and complete enjoyment, learning, and making differences. Stay connected for more updates.

 

 

 

 

“The Pathway…Is The Way”

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”            By  Harriet Tubman

“Pathway Project for 2018”

This is the final week before the Copey Learning Center guests depart for America. There is a tremendous sense of excitement flowing from Washington state, across the country, and then down into Costa Rica. Can you imagine the thoughts of the proud parents of our guest students, the feelings of accomplishment by the Learning Center’s Board of Directors, and the sense of pride felt by the Copey community? And, all the “Friends of Copey” should also be excited. The Pathway Project could easily be a one of a kind since it is not spearheaded by any official organization, business, government, or agency. Just old everyday “Friends” sharing a common belief that when a few commit to doing even a little to help kids, then much can be done for kids. Such a bold concept!

Goal  $6,200.00      Actual Income=$5,200.00    Deadline:  May 25th, 2018 (extended)

Last week I sounded a gentle alarm regarding our fundraising campaign situation. We were running a little below our expectations for the funding needed to fully support this project. Many of you answered the alarm and now our funding situation is much more Tracking 10positive. We still have a short distance to go to completely meet our goal. We are at about 84% of our goal today with several donations still expected to show up soon.

So, if you have not yet sent your donation but plan to, now is the time. Even if you send $5.00 or $10.00, you will have made an investment in one amazing experience for two students…and an entire community.

We have tightened our plans a little, reduced our goal some, and now more certain all will work out. We are “good to go” thanks to all of you.

Following the students’ two week experience in America, they will return home to Copey as “education ambassadors”, obligated to be inspirational student leaders for other Copey students to follow. Soon, there will be a total of six ambassadors in the Copey community who have participated in the “Pathway Project” sharing this obligation. Keeping students excited about education is one major element of the “Pathway Project” and one reason it is growing more popular each year. We are making a difference.  Instructions for donating provided below

Lest WE Forget…!  There is the other half of the Pathway Project we should not lose sight of. We have two Emory & Henry College students (Kara and Matthew) at the Learning Center now and completing their 4th and final week on Friday.

Matthew and Kara

Ana Yancy, Kara and Matthew

All reports on their participation and involvement as volunteers have been outstanding. I personally met Kara and Matthew during my campus visit in March and knew then these two students were ideal volunteer candidates for Copey. Both have exceeded all our expectations and have become special friends to the Copey community and the students. We can see a trend of excellence developing as we can now account for six E&H College students (Including Jane) who have made their mark on the community and the Learning Center. Our college has become a household name in the community and is well thought of as a caring and devoted college with high ideals and amazing representatives who come to their community to help.

In my opinion, Kara and Matthew have maintained those excellent standards of excellence set forth by Xavier and Casey, our first E&H Pathway students in 2016 and Melody who represented us in 2017.  All these students have represented E&H College, “Friends”, and even American students in general, most honorably. Thank you for your service!

I firmly believe both Kara and Matthew will leave behind Copey a little better than they found it. And I am convinced Kara and Matthew will return home understanding better the challenges of our world and are better prepared to take them on.

Just One More Thing!

I really love receiving photos from the Learning Center. And, every now and then I will get a photo that will just shock me. This week Ana Yancy sent the photo below and it was really a Angela Karashocker! Angela (far right) is in Copey now on vacation from her job in Boston. She has impeccable timing since she has been around to meet Kara and Matthew (also pictured). And, she is available to wish her prior students well as they depart for America.

Angela helped set up the “Pathway Project” and is the 1st to have brought the “Pathway Project” students to America in 2016. She led the way back to America with Ana Yancy by her side in 2017. This year Angela’s work and schedule would not allow her to be involved. So Angela travels with us in spirit. “Friends” has been fully blessed with two wonderful Directors leading the way at the Learning Center.

Next Week…! We Roll!

Please send your donation to my Kiwanis Club:guidelines for Pathway

And, please do not make the check to “Friends of Copey” or to me personally. All funds will go into the TCI Kiwanis Foundation account to pay the Pathway expenses. The account will be managed by the Foundation’s Treasurer, Ms. Julie Meek, CPA. The Foundation has 501c3 status.

THANKS “FRIENDS”