Charles Barker Announced as Chair of An Achievable Dream Virginia Beach Board of Directors

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Jay Klebanoff, chief executive officer of Hercules Fence, announced as vice chair

An Achievable Dream (AAD) recently announced that as of December, 2019, the AAD Board of Directors has elected Charles Barker, chairman of Charles Barker Automotive, as the new board chair of An Achievable Dream’s Virginia Beach program. Mr. Barker has served on the board of directors of An Achievable Dream Virginia Beach since the program began in Virginia Beach in 2014. Jay Klebanoff, chief executive officer of Hercules Fence, who has served on the board of directors since 2015 and also serves as chair of the development committee, was elected as vice chair.

This announcement comes after substantial growth for the program in Virginia Beach over the last year. In 2019, through the nonprofit’s partnership with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, the opportunity to apply for the program was extended to students in a total of 23 school zones in Virginia Beach. During the Something in the Water festival in 2019, Pharrell Williams partnered with Seatack Elementary An Achievable Dream Academy to renovate and expand its community garden, which is planted and maintained by students.

An Achievable Dream co-operates public schools with the goal of reaching students who may not otherwise have equitable access to opportunities and resources, and works to level the playing field for students who face socioeconomic or other challenges. In Newport News, where the program began in 1992, it operates as a full K-12 program. In Virginia Beach, the program expands by one grade level per year and will encompass grades K-12 in 2025.

“I have never seen an organization more effective than An Achievable Dream at making their mission a reality,” says Barker. “My goal is to take this program to the next level in Virginia Beach, providing hope and a bright future for as many students as possible.”

Barker and the organization’s late founder, Walter Segaloff, were friends before Segaloff died in 2013. Barker shares, “Walter would be so proud that what began as a simple mentoring program through tennis and tutoring has grown into something that is truly changing lives every single day.”

By providing numerous resources, such as uniforms and extended academic time, and social and character development classes like conflict resolution, etiquette, standard business communication, and ethics, AAD seeks to develop the whole child. Students also have the opportunity to participate in numerous clubs and field trips, receive soft-skills career preparation from local business partners, and upon graduation, will be eligible for college scholarships.

“The program works and we know that because we have hundreds of graduates who have demonstrated that An Achievable Dream provides the tools needed for young people to compete in business and society. “ says Jay Klebanoff, incoming vice chair, whose family have been long-time supporters of An Achievable Dream.

Lee Vreeland, Ed.D., president and CEO of An Achievable Dream shares, “We now have over 800 alumni who have graduated from the program in Newport News and are going on to build incredibly successful careers in everything from medicine to the military. We can’t wait to see our brilliant students in Virginia Beach follow this same path to success!”

There are currently 554 students enrolled in An Achievable Dream Virginia Beach in grades K-7.

“Virginia Beach is blessed to have wonderful schools, and An Achievable Dream fills a need in our community to provide equitable opportunities to all students,” says Barker. “We are thankful for the support of this community as we move into this next chapter and we look forward to continuing to grow this program together. Let’s make dreams come true!”

An Achievable Dream will hold its inaugural fundraising gala for Virginia Beach, A Night to Dream, on Friday, February 7 at the Cavalier Hotel. Hotel rooms and suites are included with ticket and sponsorship packages. To purchase tickets or sponsorships, visit NightToDream.org.

For more information about An Achievable Dream Virginia Beach, visit AchievableDream.org.

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 develops independent, productive citizens through a Social, Academic, and Moral Education (SAME®).

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Abbie Schaefer
@AAD_Inc
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