HONORING THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF AN ACHIEVABLE DREAM

November 16, 2017
Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor An Achievable Dream, which will be commemorating its 25th anniversary this weekend.

An Achievable Dream was founded by the late Walter Segaloff, a local community leader, businessman, and humanitarian. His ambitious public-private educational partnership in Newport News, Virginia started small but has grown exponentially in the last 25 years.

When An Achievable Dream first opened its doors in 1992, it was a small summer and after-school tennis and tutoring program for 95 fourth graders. A year later, the program more than doubled the number of students it served to 200 rising fourth and fifth graders. In 1994, An Achievable Dream expanded even further by becoming a full-time, extended day school for 400 children in grades three through five, and in 1994 they started serving grades six through eight at Dunbar Erwin Middle School. Five years later, in 2000, An Achievable Dream Academy was founded as a year-round, full time elementary school and by 2007 they opened a separate, full-time middle and high school. Since those early years, An Achievable Dream has grown beyond Newport News and now has partnerships with Virginia Beach City Public Schools and Heinrico County Public Schools.

The motto of An Achievable Dream is ``Teaching Kids Winning Ways.'' The Achievable Dream program is structured to give young people the skills needed to succeed in life. Those skills are taught at An Achievable Dream on the tennis court, in the classroom, on field trips, and in sharing experiences with successful and caring adults in the community.

One of the things that makes An Achievable Dream so impactful on the lives of the young people it serves is An Achievable Dream's ability to show the boundless opportunities available if you just make the right choices. The staff, supporters and sponsors at An Achievable Dream have worked over the last 25 years to ensure that their students graduate on time and have an opportunity to go to college.

An Achievable Dream has not achieved all of this on its own. Walter Segaloff understood that it took every facet of the community--including school leaders, public officials, law enforcement, the military, and businesses--to work together toward the common goal of making better the lives and educational outcomes of as many young persons as possible. I would like to thank each of the community organizations and businesses for stepping up and helping make An Achievable Dream the success that it is today. I would also like to thank our military for volunteering regularly with these students for An Achievable Dream's character development program. And of course, I want to thank Kathy Edwards, President and CEO of An Achievable Dream, and all the faculty and staff who have dedicated their careers to these young people.

Mr. Speaker, I am honored to have been involved with An Achievable Dream as a supporter since its beginning. As our community gathers to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the An Achievable Dream at the annual Tennis Ball gala this weekend, I look forward to the continued success of An Achievable Dream. I would like to congratulate the staff, supporters and sponsors at An Achievable Dream on a quarter century of success and I look forward to witnessing their many continued successes in the future.