Charles and Mari Ann Banks Honored to Sponsor An Achievable Dream Class of 2016

For Immediate Release
June 14, 2016

Contact: Amy Ritchie
Phone: 757-599-9472
Email: aritchie@AchievableDream.org

Charles and Mari Ann Banks Honored to
Sponsor An Achievable Dream Class of 2016

Newport News, VA - An Achievable Dream's Class of 2016 received their diplomas to the enthusiastic cheers of family and friends during their graduation ceremony on Thursday,June 9 at CNU's Ferguson Center for the Arts. Charles and Mari Ann Banks of Gloucester and Ferguson Enterprises, headquartered in Newport News, are the class sponsors, pledging to provide annual merit scholarships of $2,000 for each student every year that they attend college and maintain a required grade point average.

"Charlie and I are both honored to share with Ferguson Enterprises the sponsorship of this year's graduating class of Achievable Dream High School," said Mari Ann Banks. "We attended the graduation and are very impressed with the students." Eighty-five percent of the class graduated with an advanced studies diploma, with more than fifty percent graduating with a 3.0 or higher grade-point-average. Members of the class completed five dual enrollment courses and 96 advanced placement courses. One hundred percent of the class of 54 students is planning to attend college or a trade school, or serve in the Armed Services.

"The statistics say a lot about An Achievable Dream and what it has enabled these young men and women to accomplish," said Mari Ann Banks.

Ferguson Enterprises also sponsored the Class of 2008 and is a corporate partner in the What It Takes program, which emphasizes workplace readiness skills. Charles Banks served as president of Ferguson Enterprises from 1989 to 2001, and then as Group Chief Executive of Wolseley Corporation, Ferguson's parent company. Mari Ann Banks serves on the An Achievable Dream, Inc. Board of Directors and has been a community leader in Virginia and Great Britain, where Wolseley Corporation is based.

College acceptance letters line the walls in the front hallway of An Achievable Dream Middle and High School. Members of the Class of 2016 will be attending the following schools this fall: Bluefield College, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T, Richard Bland College, Radford University, Thomas Nelson Community College, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Union University.

"We look forward to following their continued success. They're also a symbol of the legacy that was left by Walter Segaloff, the founder of An Achievable Dream," said Mari Ann Banks. "Charlie and I are proud to help carry on the dream. 'It takes team work to make the dream work.'"

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Dedicated to the belief that all children can succeed regardless of their economic status, An Achievable Dream operates two nationally recognized schools for grades K-12 through a unique partnership with Newport News (VA) Public Schools. Without An Achievable Dream, many students would not have the opportunities they need to succeed in school and in life. The faculty and staff of AAD go beyond academics to provide students with a well-rounded education through the comprehensive SAME® (social, academic, and moral education) curriculum.

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