Sculptor Ed Hamilton Visits Art Students

May 20, 2014

In Newport News for the dedication of his latest public works sculpture, Ed Hamilton visited with students at An Achievable Dream Middle and High School on Friday, May 16, 2014. Hamilton heard about An Achievable Dream and wanted to share his story with the students, encouraging them to pursue their dreams no matter how large. He also gave them a “sneak preview” of his new work, The Unfinished March, the centerpiece of the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, located at 25th Street and Jefferson Avenue. The statue, a large bronze bas-relief featuring the front row of a Civil Rights march with Dr. King in the center, his hand reaching out, was unveiled and dedicated on Saturday, May 17. Prior to the dedication, Washington said that he was happy to have the sculpture in Newport News and hoped it would inspire young people.

Hamilton, based in Louisville, Kentucky, is known for creating public sculptures that commemorate the people and events that figure prominently in African American history. His work includes The Spirit of Freedom at the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C., and The Amistad Memorial in New Haven, Conn. In Louisville, the larger-than-life Abraham Lincoln looks over a waterfront park. One of Hamilton’s first commissions was the Booker T. Washington statue on the campus of Hampton University in 1983.




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Kim Bates Named NNPS Middle School Teacher of the Year

May 13, 2014

Kim Bates, an Instructional Technology Coach at An Achievable Dream Middle and High School, is the Newport News Public School Middle School Teacher of the Year. After completing Old Dominion University’s Career Switcher Program, education became Bates’ third career. She started her teaching career at Crittenden Middle School in technology education and has worked as a technology teacher at Heritage High School.

Bates coordinated the school district’s involvement with SeaPerch, an underwater remotely operated vehicle competition, and founded the Tidewater SeaPerch District Competition. She also created STEM (science, technology, engineer and mathematics education) Saturdays, which provides hands-on projects and learning opportunities for students at An Achievable Dream Middle and High School.

Bates has 10 years of teaching experience. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology at Virginia Tech University and has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology from Old Dominion University.

Kim Bates

Sponsors Enjoy a Special Lunch

May 8, 2014

Students from An Achievable Dream Academy and An Achievable Dream Middle and High School hosted board members and sponsors during the annual Sponsors’ Day luncheon on April 25. Attendees enjoyed a Chick-fil-A lunch, talked with students, and exchanged business cards before the program – “An Achievable Dream Presents Kid YOU!” – featuring students taking on the careers of special guests. Third grade student Drew Cox was a hit with her answer to the question, “What is the most special part about being an amusement park president?” Carl Lum, park president, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, presented Drew with his name tag and title upon her reply: “The most special part about being president of an amusement park is I get to see the kids and families have a good time with smiles on their faces, and hopefully I will get to see them again.”

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Miss Virginia Visits An Achievable Dream

Mar 20, 2014

Desiree Williams, Miss Virginia 2013, visited An Achievable Dream Academy and Middle and High School on Tuesday, March 18. In addition to participating in the Academy’s daily handshake and morning program, Williams met with members of the GEMS (Girls Educated and Motivated for Success) and the high school 3.0 Club to talk about goal setting.


Local Businesses Support An Achievable Dream

Feb 18, 2014

Three small businesses in Hampton Roads have joined Washington D.C.-based Heart of America Foundation to support An Achievable Dream students. Starting today and running through March 2, Phillips Energy, Consociate Media and Sara Harris Photography will donate $1 for each new like on their Facebook pages to The Heart of America Foundation, which will use the funds to buy books for An Achievable Dream students. Get involved by going to Facebook to like their pages!

Since 1997, The Heart of America Foundation has provided children with more than 3.5 million library and take home books. Their unique approach to helping promote volunteer service and literacy has led to engaging volunteers in more than one million hours of service to communities nationwide. For more information, go to

An Achievable Dream Names Kathy Edwards Permanent President and Chief Executive Officer

Feb 14, 2014

The Boards of Directors of An Achievable Dream have named Kathy Edwards as the permanent president and chief executive officer of the non-profit organization.

Edwards, who began with An Achievable Dream in 2000 as its director of development and communications and advanced to chief operating officer, has been the interim president and CEO since November.  She succeeds Aubrey Layne, who left to become secretary of transportation in the administration of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. Layne followed Walter Segaloff, who founded An Achievable Dream as a summer enrichment initiative in 1992 and led its growth into a K – 12 education program in Newport News. Alongside Segaloff, Edwards raised more than $2.5 million annually to fund expanded learning time, field trips, uniforms and other enhancements for An Achievable Dream students on the Peninsula.

Edwards has been heavily involved in the first expansion of An Achievable Dream. Starting with a summer intersession this July, Seatack Elementary in Virginia Beach will be an Achievable Dream Academy for students in kindergarten through second grade. Plans call for the addition of another grade level each subsequent year through high school, with all students participating in the program’s award-winning SAME® (social, academic and moral education) curriculum, which focuses on preparation for college and careers.

“We were so pleased to find our next president and CEO already in our administrative office,” says Gordon Gentry, co-chair of the Steering Committee for the organization.  “Kathy knows every facet of An Achievable Dream and is well respected by our boards, donors, the staff and community partners.  We expect great things from Kathy and her team as we move forward to serve even more children in Hampton Roads.”

Kathy Edwards

Prior to joining An Achievable Dream, Edwards led the university relations and communications departments, first for Hampton University and then for Christopher Newport University.