VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Dec. 9, 2022 – The Virginia Natural Gas Foundation has committed $100,000 to An Achievable Dream (AAD) to help bring equity to education by providing opportunities for success to students in underserved communities.
Specifically, the grant will support the organization’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) resources and activities, while also providing funding for the Citizenship Classroom at Seatack Elementary An Achievable Dream Academy to foster citizenship throughout the school.
“At Virginia Natural Gas, we aspire to be a good community partner wherever we serve and understand the success of all children begins in our classrooms,” said Robert Duvall, president of Virginia Natural Gas. “Programs like An Achievable Dream help fill the gap and level the playing field for students by providing additional educational resources. We are proud of our partnership as they provide the foundation for the development of strong, respectful, honest and compassionate Hampton Roads students and citizens.”
For more than 30 years, An Achievable Dream (AAD) has helped develop its students into independent, productive citizens through a social, academic, and moral education. AAD serves 2,200 students in three localities, and partners with public school districts, including Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS). AAD began its partnership with VBCPS in 2013 to provide students with a well-rounded educational experience that includes classroom teaching in addition to fostering interpersonal character- and relationship-building life skills.
“An Achievable Dream believes that all children, regardless of their socioeconomic background, can learn and succeed,” said Dr. Lee Vreeland, President, and CEO of An Achievable Dream. “Through our long-standing partnership with Virginia Natural Gas, they’ve helped model citizenship by providing both monetary donations and volunteers to support our science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities as well as our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.”
This support has helped students like Josiah, a 10th grader, build an extended family through AAD that has changed his life and expanded his horizons.
“It is a blessing that I've been introduced to so many things through An Achievable Dream; being part of something like this is so amazing,” said Josiah. “Throughout my entire journey, from when I signed that pact to join and be part of this community, to developing bonds with the people around me, we have grown close – from being classmates and teachers to becoming family. You only truly realize that when you take a self-inventory to see how far you've come and grasp the fact that life without this particular family would be unfathomable.”
Along with providing STEM-related resources and activities, the grant will also dedicate the Citizenship Classroom at Seatack Elementary in Virginia Beach to continue fostering citizenship throughout the school and serve as a visual reminder of VNG’s commitment to AAD’s students.
This is not the first donation to An Achievable Dream Academy by Virginia Natural Gas. In 2018, VNG partnered with Pharrell Williams, donating $50,000 to help expand and overhaul the 6,700 square-foot community garden at Seatack Elementary, complete with vegetable gardens, a greenhouse and other environmentally friendly areas. The energy company also donated $25,000 in 2021 to help with the transition of returning to school following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virginia Natural Gas plans to donate an additional $50,000 to AAD in 2023 to further support An Achievable Dream’s initiatives to garner citizenship and educational equity for Virginia Beach students.
To learn more about VNG’s commitment to the community, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com/news/corporate-partnerships.
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