Where Are They Now? An Update from the Class of 2003

As we continue our alumni series, “Where Are They Now,” travel in time with us as we follow our graduates on their journeys and discover how An Achievable Dream made a positive impact on their lives. Also featured in this series are each graduating class’s sponsor to share their inspiration for supporting their class and a reflection from AAD president and CEO, Dr. Lee Vreeland, on each alumni. In this feature, we are highlighting class of 2003 graduate, Portia Sardik.

Tell us where you are, what you’re doing now, and the accomplishment or life milestones you’re most proud of!

I reside in the nation’s capital with my husband and son. As the Director of Student Affairs at Legends Charter School, I am a huge advocate for the underserved and at-risk population. My passion is to help close both the achievement and generational wealth gaps while assisting every scholar in reaching their full potential. 

I am the Founder and CEO of Timeless Events Planning. Where the mission is to create an everlasting vision of the client’s chosen event. Timeless Events will guarantee a worry and hassle-free event at an acceptable price.

What about An Achievable Dream do you feel most prepared you for the career and life you have now?

An Achievable Dream has been a pillar in my life. The program continues to nourish and encourage me even as an adult. AAD is where I was first exposed to teachers and staff who cared about what I wanted to achieve and helped to cultivate those talents. These are the qualities I utilize daily with my students. There’s a quote that says, “The influence of a good teacher can never be erased.” As an educator today, I am grateful that AAD recognized that representation mattered in the classroom. I’m thankful for having teachers and staff that intentionally impacted my life and the lives of my peers. AAD was a community within a community that loved, nourished, and corrected its students, helping to cultivate productive citizens in the 21st century. I’ve taken a part of each of the teachers that impacted my life and applied it to how I deal with creating a culture and climate for students and staff at my school. I remind my scholars that “Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm!” 

What is next for you?

If I have one piece of advice to give you all about what to search for in your quest for What Next, it’s to find where the line blurs between hard work and happiness for you. To find that thing where working hard at it makes you happy, and where you’re happy to work hard at it.

– Tom Fletcher

Wherever the road may lead me, I hope to continue inspiring, encouraging, and walking in my purpose.

Now, you will read a reflection from our President and CEO, Dr. Lee Vreeland on Portia’s journey.

Portia is truly changing the lives of our young people each and every day not only by the work that she does but she also advocates for equity and justice in all that she does. She often says that “she channels her inner Dr. Vreeland almost every day.” I cannot think of a greater compliment. Continue with your greatness in all that you do.

– Lee Vreeland, Ed.D., President/CEO, An Achievable Dream

Continue reading to learn about why the graduating class sponsor from 2003, Michelle Jacobs, President, Lee Group, chose to invest in the Dream.

I chose to sponsor a class of An Achievable Dream students because it gave me the gift of being a part of something extraordinary. Walter Segaloff asked me during one of our lunches together if I would be able to sponsor a class. An Achievable Dream was just getting underway. My business was just getting established and I had very little money at the time. Walter must have seen something in me that I hadn’t seen in myself. I never dreamed that my business would be successful enough to sponsor An Achievable Dream class but I told Walter that I would work hard to hopefully earn enough money to sponsor a class. In 2003 I was able to fulfill my promise to Walter. It was then, and still is today, the proudest moment of my life. I am certain that the graduating class of 2003 is doing wonderful things with their lives. They carry the wisdom of Walter Segaloff, Lee Vreeland, and all those who surrounded them with encouragement, love and support to “shoot for the moon.”  

– Michelle Jacobs