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Governor and First Lady Youngkin Announce September 2022 Spirit of Virginia Award Recipient

Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne Youngkin have presented the Spirit of Virginia Award to “An Achievable Dream,” a full K-12 education program that operates six schools in Virginia in partnership with Newport News Public Schools, Virginia Beach City Public Schools and Henrico County Public Schools.

“Education is a critical component of opportunity for all and An Achievable Dream’s approach to caring for the whole student, supporting families, and setting high standards is unparalleled,” said the First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin. “When we honor Virginians who are changing lives for the better, we need look no further than the administrators and teachers in these schools.”

The Spirit of Virginia Award recognizes unique qualities and standout achievements across the Commonwealth and salutes Virginians for their uncommon contributions in private industries, education, culture, the arts and philanthropy. The inaugural Spirit of Virginia Award was presented to the National Center for Healthy Veterans in Altavista, VA in March, followed by Jill’s House in Vienna, VA in May and Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue in Afton, VA in July.

An Achievable Dream President & CEO Dr. Lee Vreeland gives remarks. Photo by Shealah Craighead Photography.

“On behalf of An Achievable Dream’s boards of directors, staff, faculty, and most importantly, our students and families, I express our gratitude as a recipient of the Spirit of Virginia Award. Thirty years after our founding, we are proud of the work An Achievable Dream continues to do through our innovative partnership with our school division partners. We are so grateful for our community of supporters,” said Dr. Lee Vreeland, President & CEO, An Achievable Dream.

“An Achievable Dream is an exemplar of the best-in-class education we are working to achieve for all Virginia students. The successes of An Achievable Dream students show what is possible when schools build a culture of high expectations and innovation. Congratulations to the students, parents, teachers, school leadership and funders that make An Achievable Dream a model of excellence,” said Secretary of Education Aimee Rogstad Guidera.

An Achievable Dream serves over 2,000 K-12 students across its locations. The organization emphasizes a core approach focusing on children’s social-emotional learning, essential life skills, extended academic time to focus on learning and support for the student’s entire family through a variety of initiatives, including home visits, parent education, a clothes closet, anonymous services and more.

In collaboration with the First Lady, and as a nod to ongoing efforts that highlight the contributions of Virginia’s women and girls, five local women-led businesses announced they will contribute $7,500 to An Achievable Dream to buy much needed school supplies.

Contributors include Kara Elise, owner of Kara Elise Design; Corrie Napier, owner and managing director of Pax Napier consultancy; Amy Markman, owner of Soup Love; Ashley Knox, owner of Polish Boutique in Great Neck; and Jewell Willis, owner of Willis Financial Solutions.

Governor Youngkin and the First Lady will name two more Spirit of Virginia Award recipients this year. Learn more about the award here. To learn more about An Achievable Dream, visit the organization’s website here.

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