(Extensions of Remarks - April 17, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E484]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                      2013'S VIRGINIAN OF THE YEAR


                     HON. ROBERT C. ``BOBBY'' SCOTT

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, April 17, 2013

  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life 
and career of a local community leader, businessman, and humanitarian 
from Newport News, Virginia--Walter Segaloff.
  I have known Walter throughout my career in public service 
representing the citizens of Newport News. He has dedicated his life to 
improving the lives of his fellow citizens. When he owned Virginia 
Specialty Stores, he would often interview young people seeking jobs 
but noticed many lacked the needed skills, despite having graduated 
from high school. Walter knew these young people had great potential 
that was going to waste and he wanted to do everything he could to make 
sure they had access to the right opportunities.
  Walter took matters into his own hands. He joined forces with other 
local business leaders, citizens, Newport News Public Schools, and the 
City of Newport News to help improve the lives and educational outcomes 
of our City's most at-risk young children. Out of this effort, An 
Achievable Dream was born in the summer of 1992 as a summer education 
and tennis program.
  Due in large part to Walter's dedication and tenacity, An Achievable 
Dream quickly expanded since that first summer. In 1994, it became a 
full-time, extended day school serving 400 children in grades three 
through five. A year later, An Achievable Dream expanded the extended 
day program to students at Dunbar-Erwin Middle School. By 2000, An 
Achievable Dream Academy was founded as a year-round full time 
elementary school and by 2007 a separate full time middle and high 
school opened under the An Achievable Dream name.
  An Achievable Dream provides a social, academic, and moral 
educational framework for its students and every day starts with a 
motivation rally where each student shakes the hand of an adult. 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 our community. 
Today, An Achievable Dream is educating more than 1,200 at-risk 
students in Newport News and is putting these students on the path to 
  Often, young people don't think too much about the future, and don't 
realize that choices made today may limit those in the future. Walter 
has worked to ensure that the students at An Achievable Dream have 
every opportunity to be successful in life.
  As a public-private partnership with Newport News Public Schools, the 
City of Newport News, the Newport News Police Department, the Newport 
News Sheriff's Department, the U.S. Army, the Rotary Club, Riverside 
Health System and the College of William and Mary, An Achievable Dream 
has received national recognition as one of the most effective urban 
school programs in the country and has provided a model for integrating 
support from the business community to support quality educational 
opportunities for at-risk students.
  On April 19th, the Virginia Press Association will honor Walter as 
its Virginian of the Year for 2013. Walter was nominated by our 
hometown newspaper, The Daily Press, in recognition of his decades of 
dedication to improving the educational opportunities of thousands of 
at-risk young people living in Newport News and the Association was 
unanimous in selecting Walter as this year's recipient.
  Walter recently stepped down as CEO of An Achievable Dream, but he 
leaves behind a strong legacy. His vision is expected to expand to 
other localities in Hampton Roads, helping improve the lives of 
thousands of more at-risk young people in our community.
  I commend Walter for being recognized as this year's Virginian of the 
Year and I thank him for his years of dedicated service to improving 
the lives of so many young people in Newport News.