An Achievable Dream and Yass Prize: A Perfect Match

Welcome to our dedicated website for the Yass Prize! We are excited to showcase how An Achievable Dream is transforming education, inspiring students and upholding the STOP principles of Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding, and Permissionless education. Our commitment to these values is ingrained in our programs every day, driving us to expand our reach and impact.

The Yass Prize aims to celebrate education providers who are willing to deliver impactful education to all students, regardless of the challenges they face. We invite you to join us in this transformative journey as we strive to bring exceptional educational opportunities to students nationwide, fostering educational excellence on a broader scale.

Thank you for your support as we pursue this ambitious endeavor!

Our Program

At An Achievable Dream (AAD), we do more than educate; we transform lives through a holistic, trauma-informed approach supported by our unique public-private partnerships with public schools. Since 1992, our program has expanded to six schools across Newport News, Henrico, and Virginia Beach, currently enriching over 2,200 students.

Our distinctive Social, Academic, and Moral Education (SAME®) framework seamlessly integrates rigorous academics with comprehensive social-emotional support. Extended school days and enriching summer sessions provide continuous learning opportunities, while our social rotation classes, including Speaking Green®, etiquette, and financial literacy, prepare students for real-world success. The “What It Takes” program offers immersive career experiences through partnerships with corporate leaders, enhancing our students’ readiness for college and careers.

Beyond academics, AAD’s commitment extends to the families of our students, providing essential services like home visits and emergency financial support to ensure every student thrives in a nurturing environment. Our commitment extends past graduation; we maintain active engagement with our alumni, providing ongoing support. By uniting academic and social-emotional learning, An Achievable Dream redefines success, preparing students not just for today but for life.

In 2024, An Achievable Dream (AAD) merged with the Urban Learning Leadership Center (ULLC) to form AADULLC. The creation of AADULLC represents a powerful convergence of two organizations, each a lighthouse program, now united to amplify their impact on the educational landscape. Combining AAD’s school-based programs with ULLC’s educational consulting expertise enables us to disseminate transformative educational strategies and extend our innovative model beyond our campuses. AADULLC is expanding our SAME® framework, training educators and leaders, transforming schools, and impacting educational practices nationally.

Discover how An Achievable Dream’s social and emotional curriculum empowers students to succeed and brings the vision of educational equity to life. Faculty, students, and alumni share how the program’s unique approach to education creates a culture of support, resilience, and academic achievement. Join us in this inspiring video to learn more about the transformative impact of An Achievable Dream.


Our Founder

Walter Segaloff

An Achievable Dream’s founder, Walter Segaloff, was a well-known businessman in the Hampton Roads region whose presence was larger than life. Walter accomplished much in his lifetime. Before he passed in August 2013, he received numerous awards for his professional accomplishments and humanitarian work. His work left an indelible mark on the citizens in Newport News, the Hampton Roads communities, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

One of Walter’s greatest achievements was establishing and leading An Achievable Dream, a program that began in 1992 as a partnership with Newport News Public Schools. This public-private partnership pioneered a model program that wraps a social and moral focus around the existing educational curriculum, proving that all children can learn and succeed. An Achievable Dream was born from Walter’s core principles and nurtured by the deep involvement of the military, the business community, and his fellow citizens – a perfect blend of all that Walter believed makes this country great.

Walter served as president of Women’s Specialty Stores, and each year the company would hire high school graduates as temporary employees to work in the distribution centers, loading and unloading trucks. The idea for a program like An Achievable Dream was conceived when Walter observed that many high school graduates were not prepared for the professional world.

Walter felt that it was a terrible injustice and disappointment to the child to graduate from high school without the skills, resources, and opportunities needed to take the next step, either to college or a career. Walter was convinced that more could be done to set these young men and women up for success. This was the beginning of the Dream.


Dr. Lee Vreeland

Dr. Lee Vreeland is the president and CEO of An Achievable Dream (AAD), a nationally recognized K-12 program operating in partnership with public school systems. With 28 years of experience in overseeing AAD’s academics and operations in various roles, Dr. Vreeland combines strong leadership skills with her expertise in education and business strategy to lead An Achievable Dream in leveling the playing field for all students. She is a firm believer that all children can learn and succeed given the tools and opportunity.

Dr. Vreeland is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College, earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling from the College of William and Mary, an Ed.S. in Educational Administration and Leadership from George Washington University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership at The College of William and Mary. She is a Certified Professional Diversity Coach (CPDC) and a 2016 graduate of the CIVIC Leadership Institute. Dr. Vreeland was featured on the Inside Business 2023 Power List as an influential leader in Hampton Roads and serves on the Peninsula TowneBank Board of Directors, the Christopher Newport University Board of Visitors, the Hampton Newport News Community Services Board and the Southeast Community Coalition.

Dr. Vreeland highlights An Achievable Dream as ‘hope’ reflected in the eyes of our Dreamers and alumni, describing the alumni as one thousand success stories, families, and adults achieving their dreams.


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Our Dreamers’ possibilities are endless because of our dedicated community of believers over the past 30 years. Hear our students share how your support will change their lives and lead them closer to their dreams.

The Jarmans, proud parents of Dreamers, share how An Achievable Dream’s program has transformed their children’s lives. Discover how our mission to help students succeed and thrive is reinforced by our unwavering commitment to supporting our students and their families. We understand the importance of parental relationships, and we make it our top priority to provide the best possible support to our students and their families.

Full Circle: Dreams Achieved

An Achievable Dream’s commitment to its students does not stop at graduation—it marks the beginning of a lifelong journey. We stay actively engaged with our alumni, embodying the motto ‘Once a Dreamer, always a Dreamer.’ Since our inaugural class in 2001, over 950 students have graduated and gone on to attend college and trade programs, join the military, start their own businesses, and succeed in their careers. AAD empowers each graduate with the belief that their dreams are within reach through determination and purpose. We are continually inspired by their heartfelt stories and remarkable achievements. Many of our alumni’s stories come full circle, returning as mentors, volunteers, donors, or even staff, enriching our program with their diverse expertise and success narratives. This vibrant network of achievers not only thrives individually but also collectively uplifts and inspires, perpetuating the legacy of An Achievable Dream and exemplifying the transformative power of our Dream community.

An essential part of being an alumna of An Achievable Dream is the opportunity to give back to my community. The small acts of supporting this community can be the beginning of a success story for current students. I am often asked how An Achievable Dream has influenced me as a leader, and my answer is always the program’s student focus. Any student who completes the program will be equipped to be a happy, productive, and empowered 21st-century citizen.
Portia Cameron
Director of Student Affairs, Legends Charter School, An Achievable Dream Class of 2003
An Achievable Dream breaks the ground to find the diamonds in the rough. Regardless of one’s background or socioeconomic status, this program produces exceptional talent daily. As an alumnus, I appreciate that I can mentor and serve as a role model for the younger generation. My dream and belief are that students’ success at An Achievable Dream will bring global recognition and result in this program serving as the educational foundation for all students to emulate.
Franklin Roberson, LCDR
United States Navy, An Achievable Dream Class of 2004
An Achievable Dream exposed me to various experiences that cultivated a desire to dream, set life goals, and achieve them. Beginning each day with affirmations gave me a sense of self-worth that has helped me soar. Having teachers who were personally vested in me taught me to believe in myself. An Achievable Dream was the difference between me becoming who I am versus becoming who society expected me to be.
Rashida Stevens, Esq.
Associate General Counsel, Hampton University, An Achievable Dream Class of 2004
An Achievable Dream gave me so much, and I would not be the husband and father I am today had it not been for the program’s structure and the caring staff. Etched in my brain are the many encouraging words, morning handshakes, and motivational quotes on the banners hanging throughout the halls. I am proof that exposure to good people makes a difference in the lives of our children, and much like the staff did for me, I hope to make a difference by being a positive role model in the community.
Calvin Malone
Owner, Calvin Malone Insurance Agency, Allstate Insurance Company, An Achievable Dream Class of 2006
As an alumnus of An Achievable Dream, I am a part of a village dedicated to executing my wildest dreams. It is the ability to pick up the phone for help, to have people pushing you to be the best version of yourself, to be connected to a family, to be supported in anything and everything, and to be loved even in moments when you don’t love yourself. Today, I can confidently say I know who I am, and I am walking in my dream as I am attending the Illustrious Howard University, completing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies as the youngest in the program’s history.
Isaiah Lucas, M.S. Ed
Director of Residence Life and Housing, Richard Bland College of William & Mary, An Achievable Dream Class of 2015
At An Achievable Dream, I felt like I had a family and support system, which drove my confidence. In all I did, I knew I had people who shared their wisdom to help me overcome any obstacle or pick me up after a failure. It is heartwarming to know that I am an alumna of An Achievable Dream. I’ve been so blessed by the people and experiences.
Tamara Allen
Virginia Tech, Class of 2023, An Achievable Dream Class of 2019
An Achievable Dream pushed me to work hard throughout elementary, middle, and high school and provided me with so many additional resources. The teachers were not only passionate about their job, but they were uplifting and encouraged my success. Despite encountering obstacles along the road, I learned the value of persistence and hard work. Being an alumna of An Achievable Dream means success and living up to the name and vision of the program. Because of AAD I have been able to achieve my dreams.
Krystal Langhorne
Student, Christopher Newport University, An Achievable Dream Class of 2021

Discover the powerful impact of An Achievable Dream’s program through the eyes of its alumni-turned-staff members. Gain insight into how this program has supported them throughout their lives and how their paths have led them back to the Dream.