Posts By: Abbie Miller

Dreamers & Achievers: Celebrating the Class of 2018

Today, An Achievable Dream’s Class of 2018 will walk across the graduation stage, receive their diplomas, and prepare to take the next big step into the future.

Our Dreamers have worked incredibly hard to reach this point and we are so proud of them. In fact, we are thrilled to announce that every member of the Class of 2018 will graduate with an advanced studies diploma!

The Class of 2018 with Class Sponsors, the Levin and Friedberg families
Sharing in the honor and excitement of this year’s graduation are the Levin and Friedberg families, who, as sponsors of the Class of 2018, will provide annual merit scholarships for each member of the class for each year they attend college.

From the Class Sponsors:

“We chose to sponsor a class at An Achievable Dream because it gave our family the opportunity to make a significant and positive difference in young people’s lives. An educated person is more likely to reach his or her potential and have a happy, productive, and full life.”

– The Friedberg Family

“We admire the perseverance and strength of character of these students to reach their goal to become 2018 graduates and we want this class to realize the benefits that higher education can bring to them personally and to their community. We are fortunate to have Claire and Marvin Friedberg join with us in this sponsorship so that our ‘2018 Dreamers’ can fulfill their dreams.”

– Betty, Nancy, Beth, and David Levin

Congratulations, Dreamers! We can’t wait to watch you soar!

AAD, Newport News Police Department & Newport News Sheriff’s Office Win U.S. Department of Justice Award

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) announced the Newport News Police Department, Newport News Sheriff’s Office, and An Achievable Dream, Inc. as the winners of the 2017 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award for their partnership to help children succeed in education. Only one award is presented annually, the winner chosen from 50 applicants nationwide.

In a special ceremony at An Achievable Dream Middle and High School, AAD President and CEO Kathy Edwards and Lee Vreeland, AAD Vice President of Academics and COO, accepted this award along with Newport News Sheriff Gabe Morgan and Acting Police Chief Michael Grinstead.

Click the image below to see WAVY TV 10’s coverage of the event.

Other press coverage:

During the program, attended by Department of Justice officials, local law enforcement, AAD board members, and community supporters, students presented a showcase of their regular morning program, including greeting law enforcement with handshakes, uniform inspections, and reciting positive affirmations. AAD 8th-grader Tashara Jones spoke about the importance of law enforcement partnerships to the students.

“Students at An Achievable Dream benefit not only from learning and mastering their rigorous coursework, but also from being able to establish positive relationships with law enforcement. An Achievable Dream serves as an excellent model for communities nationwide seeking to bridge the gap between law enforcement and youth.”

– COPS Office Director Phil Keith.

“Our students have had the great fortune of developing positive relationships with law enforcement officers who have served as mentors and confidants on a daily basis.”

– Dr. Lee Vreeland, Vice President of Academics/COO, An Achievable Dream

The L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award is named in memory of Tony Sutin, who served as a founder and deputy director of the COPS Office from its creation in 1994 to 1996. This annual award is bestowed upon a collaborative team of law enforcement and community members whose innovative civic interactions have transformed public safety in their community. The ideal nominee creates community collaborations that are innovative, creative and transformative; displays civic leadership through problem solving and collaborative partnerships; and promotes public safety through dedication to the community policing philosophy.

You helped us raise nearly $16,000!

Tony Brothers here one last time to say THANK YOU!

Because of YOU, we surpassed our goal and raised nearly $16,000 for An Achievable Dream through Tuesday’s Give Local 757 event. These funds will help send Dreamers to summer camps!

Thank you for joining the Dream Team and helping make dreams come true for our students!

– Tony Brothers

Are you ready to join the Dream Team?

I’m Tony Brothers, NBA referee and An Achievable Dream board member. I am helping AAD raise $10,000 through Give Local 757 on May 8 to send AAD students to camps this summer.

Give Local 757 is ONE WEEK away, and I am calling on YOU to join our Dream Team!

Are you ready?


Through camps, AAD students Shirelle Linzy and Jalen Jordan have gained valuable experience balancing athletics and academics. Here’s what they have to say about being student athletes:

“I’m a student first before I’m an athlete and work comes before playing sports. It’s pretty tough to maintain a 3.2 GPA while playing three different sports. But… I’m not going to give up. I’m going to do what I need to do in order to keep playing those sports.”

– Shirelle Linzy


“Maintaining above-average grades and playing football and tennis takes a lot of mental fortitude and a lot of inspiration from others, and that’s what An Achievable Dream prepares you for.”

– Jalen Jordan

Will you join me in helping make a difference in the lives of students like Jalen and Shirelle? Let’s show these amazing young Dreamers how much we believe in them!

Mark your calendar for May 8 and join me to help make dreams come true!




Tony Brothers

P.S. Make sure you join the cheering section during this exciting campaign by following our Facebook and Instagram for campaign updates.

I’m Tony Brothers, a referee for the NBA, founder of Men for Hope, and a proud member of the AAD/Virginia Beach Board of Directors.

I am proud to support An Achievable Dream!


Meet Jalen and Shirelle – Young Athletes with Big Dreams

I’m Tony Brothers, NBA referee and An Achievable Dream board member. I am helping AAD raise $10,000 through Give Local 757 on May 8 to send AAD students to camps this summer.

I am calling on YOU to join our Dream Team!

Going to camp this summer will help superstar student athletes Shirelle, Jalen, and other Dreamers like them gain access to experiences and opportunities that will prepare them for the future.

I am so impressed with Shirelle and Jalen. Just take a look at what they’ve accomplished so far…

Shirelle Linzy

  • 3.0 GPA
  • Plans to attend Longwood University
  • Plays tennis, track, dance
  • Hopes to attend Hampton University Tennis Camp this summer




Jalen Jordan

  • 2.87 GPA
  • Plans to attend Virginia State University
  • Plays tennis and football
  • Benefited from experience provided by football camps





Spending time with Jalen and Shirelle reminds me that An Achievable Dream is truly changing lives. I can’t wait to share more about these two remarkable students in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Mark your calendar for May 8 and join me in helping make dreams come true!




Tony Brothers

P.S. Make sure you join the cheering section during this exciting campaign by following our Facebook and Instagram for campaign updates.

I’m Tony Brothers, a referee for the NBA, founder of Men for Hope, and a proud member of the AAD/Virginia Beach Board of Directors. I see the difference An Achievable Dream is making in our community.

I am proud to support An Achievable Dream!


NBA Referee Makes a Bold Call


I’m calling on YOU.

I’m Tony Brothers, a referee for the NBA, founder of Men for Hope, and a proud member of the AAD/Virginia Beach Board of Directors. I see the difference An Achievable Dream is making in our community. An Achievable Dream is truly changing lives.

So it’s time for us to mount a full-court press to help these students achieve their dreams!

Give Local 757, a regional day of giving held on May 8, gives us all the opportunity to go on the offense for these young men and women and make this campaign a slam dunk!

The campaign goal is $10,000 to provide scholarships for students to attend camps this summer. Students participate not only in sports camps, but camps that focus on STEM, martial arts, music, and more.

In the coming weeks, I will introduce you to Shirelle Linzy and Ashanti Turner, two Dreamers who will benefit from your support through this campaign. Together, you and I will get off the bench and assist our students in being winners academically and athletically!

Make sure you join the cheering section during this exciting campaign by following our Facebook and Instagram for campaign updates.

I am proud to support An Achievable Dream, and I am calling on YOU to join our Dream Team by participating on May 8.

Will you join me?





Tony Brothers

On May 8, 2018, gifts can be made online at

Don’t Miss the 2nd Annual Seafood Festival!


Sponsored by our friends at Chick’s Oyster Bar, the second annual Seafood Festival is an event you will not want to miss!

Proceeds from the event support An Achievable Dream.

Enter to win a Boston Whaler Boat donated by Lynnhaven Marine! Boat raffle tickets $100 each – only 300 raffle tickets sold!

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and include delicious food from local restaurants as well as Chick’s.

To purchase admission and raffle tickets, contact Chick’s Oyster Bar at (757) 481-5757.

Click here to visit the event Facebook page.

Thank you for supporting The Dream!

Faculty Focus: Meet the Dream Team!

At An Achievable Dream, we have an amazing group of faculty and staff who make The Dream a reality on a daily basis. We hope you enjoy getting to know them through this Faculty Focus series!

Meet… Ms. Belinda Flucker
Kindergarten Teacher, An Achievable Dream Academy

Can you share what An Achievable Dream means to you, and what has inspired you over the years to continue your work with this school?

I have been working for An Achievable Dream since the beginning. For me, An Achievable Dream is a school that exemplifies the true meaning of teaching. Our babies sometimes need a lot of polishing to see their potential and endless possibilities. I have continued my work over the years because I find joy in knowing that I have made a very positive impact on the lives of the children I served over the past 25 years.

An Achievable Dream just celebrated 25 years. Looking ahead, what do you think the legacy of An Achievable Dream will be 25 years from now?

To me, the legacy in 25 years will be seeing my current kindergartners who have progressed through the program and are productive, active, and successful citizens in their community.

If you could tell the world something about your students, something EVERYONE needs to know, what would it be?

My student’s socioeconomic status will not dictate their future. I know what the research shows and what society says, but I believe what dictates their future is the high quality of instruction, positive relationships, nurturing, and LOVE they receive from me and all of the staff every day at An Achievable Dream Academy.

Thank you, Ms. Flucker, for 25 years of dedication, and for sharing what The Dream means to you!
We are stronger with you on our team!

Photos courtesy of Sigmon Taylor Photography


Big Dreamer, Little Dreamer

In 2014, we launched Seatack Elementary An Achievable Dream Academy in Virginia Beach with grades K-2. Each year, the program grows by one grade level. An exciting milestone awaits the first class, now in fifth grade: they will be the first class to graduate from An Achievable Dream in Virginia Beach in 2025.

To celebrate our “Little Dreamers,” and honor our “Big Dreamers,” the graduating class of 2018, we asked members of the senior class of An Achievable Dream Middle and High School in Newport News to give one piece of advice to this group of young students.

Then we asked members of the 5th grade class their biggest dream.

This is what we learned:

Class of 2018’s Advice to 5th Graders

Members of AAD Class of 2018, from left to right: Jada Lewis, Takira Fitzgerald, Alonda Johnson, Asia Johnson, and Rakim Miller.


“Focus and keep your grades a number one priority. It is great to have friends, but do not change who you are just to fit in.”

– Takira Fitzgerald, Class of 2018




“New things can be scary… especially new environments. As you enter middle school with your peers, look up to the adults around you. It won’t seem so scary anymore.”

– Alonda Johnson, Class of 2018




“Every decision you make, little or big, will have a huge impact on your future.”

– Rakim Miller, Class of 2018



“Don’t give up something you enjoy just because it gets hard.”

– Asia Johnson, Class of 2018





“Turn your can’ts into cans and your dreams into plans.”

– Jada Lewis, Class of 2018



Our Dreams: Class of 2025

Members of AAD 5th grade class, from left to right: Mikayla Johnson, Ariana Hernandez Calderon, Terrell Beale, Yasira Vargas Perez, Noriah Speller, Gianni Bernal, and Roderick Worrell.



“I want to be an author when I grow up because I have great ideas for books. I would also like to illustrate them too!”
– Mikayla Johnson, 5th grade





“My dream is that I want to be a chef so that I can own my own restaurant.”
– Terrell Beale, 5th Grade





“I want to be a veterinarian when I grow up so that I can help animals when they are sick or hurt.”
– Yasira Vargas Perez, 5th Grade





“My dream is to be able to help my parents achieve their dreams by being a lawyer and then President of the United States.”
– Ariana Hernandez Calderon, 5th Grade





“When I grow up, I want to be in the Navy like my dad and follow in his footsteps.”
– Gianni Bernal, 5th Grade





“My dream is to be a teacher because I want to give other kids a good education so they can be successful in life.”
– Noriah Speller, 5th Grade





“My dream is to become a lawyer so that I can fight for justice and help people.”
– Roderick Worrell, 5th Grade


News Release – An Achievable Dream Celebrates 25 Years






October 25, 2017

Julie Cruit Angilly
Vice President, Development and Communications
An Achievable Dream
(757) 599-9472 Office
(415) 415-845-1171 Cell

An Achievable Dream Celebrates 25 Years

Annual Tennis Ball gala to commemorate 25 years of success and student achievements

Newport News, VA – What began in 1992 as a small after-school and summer tennis and tutoring program has grown into what is now one of the most successful education programs in Virginia, An Achievable Dream, Inc. (AAD). Twenty-five years later, the nonprofit serves nearly 2,000 students in elementary and middle and high school in Newport News, as well as an elementary school in Virginia Beach and in Henrico County.   The organization is built on the same belief that guided founder, the late Walter Segaloff: all children can learn and succeed.

AAD operates in partnership with Newport News Public Schools, Virginia Beach City Public Schools and Henrico County Public Schools, utilizing partnerships with community donors and grants to boost each school’s existing programming with SAME® (Social, Academic and Moral Education) curriculum, state-of-the-art technology, individual mentoring, more academic time, “soft skills” job and career training and more.  AAD students, or “Dreamers,” as they are called, score equal to or better than top Virginia students on state Standards of Learning (SOL) exams.  In addition, every student must participate in community service projects during the school year.  AAD boasts a 100% on-time graduation rate, with 90% of graduates attending college or trade school and 10% joining the military or entering the workforce.  AAD’s class of 2017 received over $2 million in college scholarship funds, with many students being the first in their family to attend college.

“When Walter Segaloff founded An Achievable Dream twenty-five years ago, he did not do it alone,” recalls Kathy Edwards, President and CEO of An Achievable Dream.  “He formed a coalition of partners – including public school districts, city leaders, the military, law enforcement, and the business and political communities.  Today, more than ever before, these partners are critical to our success.  Our teachers, staff, our students’ families, our community’s clergy, and many others continue to dedicate their lives to the success of our Dreamers.  That is why our anniversary this year is a celebration for our entire community to share and to be proud that we all played a role in our students’ success.”

AAD’s trademark annual Tennis Ball gala, held November 18, 2017 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, is expected to sell out.  The event will be a celebration of this milestone anniversary, as well as an exciting opportunity for members of the community to share in the work of An Achievable Dream.  The evening features dinner, and live and silent auctions to benefit AAD, as well as a ceremony honoring the Class of 2018 graduates and the announcement of the class sponsor.

Jeshon Copeland, AAD graduate Class of 2012, speaks firsthand about the impact An Achievable Dream had on his life.

“My life did a 360 when my cousin adopted me and told me that she was going to enroll me in An Achievable Dream. The rest of my life would never be the same.”  Each morning, An Achievable Dream students recite the banners, positive affirmations that remind them of the school’s beliefs and expectations.  Years after graduation, Jeshon still recalls them. “My favorite banner… is ‘I am somebody.’ These three words were so important to me because they were a constant reminder that no matter how difficult your childhood was… you can still achieve anything as long as you don’t give up and believe in yourself.”

For the students, staff, sponsors, and community supporters of An Achievable Dream, the impact made over 25 years is worth celebrating all year long.

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

About An Achievable Dream:

An Achievable Dream is a nationally-recognized educational nonprofit dedicated to the belief that all children can learn and succeed.  Operating schools in partnership with Newport News Public Schools and Virginia Beach City Public Schools, and AAD Certified Academy in Henrico County near Richmond, Virginia, An Achievable Dream offers children in kindergarten through twelfth grade quality social, academic and value-based education, enrichment activities inside and outside the classroom, and assistance with higher education.

Download News Release – PDF