Reflections

The Project Discovery of Alexandria Advisory Board (PDAAB) has a rich history. Many people have contributed to the success of the organization. This page is designed to acknowledge some of those contributors. The comments that follow are not intended to be exhaustive, but include some of the highlights for past leaders of PDAAB.

Although the account that follows addresses some events from 2012, the foundation that was established prior to that time has not been forgotten.  Members are encouraged to share their experiences.

Past Leadership

Many of the past leaders of PDAAB are “unsung leaders”. The paragraphs that follow acknowledge some of the efforts of their leadership, commitment to PDAAB and the City of Alexandria.

Director of Youth Services

Nathanel Sligh and Ron Frazier

Mr. Ronald Frazier (Ron), Former Director of Project Discovery.  Under the leadership of Ron Frazier, Project Discovery Alexandria became an integral part of the community while providing workshops, university tours and additional activities for the students at T.C. Williams High School.  Through Ron’s efforts, PDAAB was consistently recognized by the State of Virginia as a role model for similar organizations. Nathaniel Sligh was one of the staff members in the Youth Services Department.

Immediate Past Chair

Cherie Brown, Past Chair PDAAB

Ms. Cherie M. Brown (Cherie), Past Chair. Cherie became chair after Glenn and Lou’s term. Cherie worked consistently and diligently to assist with fundraising, community engagement and event planning. She made it easy to plan, organize and work with the PDAAB. Under her leadership, PDAAB participated in walkathons, legacy fundraising events, surveys and a retreat that informed future activities.

Past PDAAB Chair (Before ’12)

Glenn Gamber, Former Chair, Walkathon 2010

Mr. Glenn Gamber (Glenn), Past Chair, Ms. Lougenia Williams (Lou), Past Vice Chair. Mr. Gamber and Ms. Williams were the leaders in 2012. They did an outstanding job of keeping projects and programs on the front-burner. We can never forget the sacrifices that Glenn and Lou made for the students at T.C. Williams High School. Lou continues to work with the organization on various committees. She is always ready to assist in any area that she can.

Past Vice Chair

Sheree Monroe Pendleton (On right)) — 2017 Legacy Event

Ms. Sheree Monroe Pendleton (Sheree), Past Vice President. Sheree served as Vice President after Lou. Sheree has been one of the largest donors to Project Discovery Alexandria.

Past Vice Chair (Before ’12)

Ms. Lougenia Williams 2019 Walkathon

Mrs. Lougenia Williams (Lou), Past Vice Chair. Lou is one of the longest serving member of the PDAAB and she actively participates in the activities of the PDAAB.

Walkathon Chair

Cassandra Chess, Walkathon Chair & Cherie Brown, Past PDAAB Chair

Ms. Cassandra Chess (Cassandra), Walkathon Chair.  The Walkathon is one of the most successful fundraisers for PDAAB.  This event included honorary chairs, refreshments, community leaders, students, giveaways and brief announcements.  We always had fun with the Zumba activity. Cassandra was also responsible for providing one of our best guest speakers for a Legacy Fundraising Event, Mr. Arnold L. Harvey, author of “Every Decision Matters”.

Social Media & Book Scholarship Chair

Shawna Gary
Shawna Gary & Students from 2019 Reception

A special thank you to Ms. Shawna Gary for her awesome work with PDAAB as the primary social media specialist for FaceBook and other mediums for several years. She laid the foundation for the current social media engagements.

PDAAB’s Living Legend

The Honorable Allison Silverberg and Mrs. Lillian Patterson

Our “Living Legend” Ms. Lillian Patterson also worked with the Scholarship Committee until her resignation in October 2018.

Events

Over the years PDAAB has sponsored two major fundraisers, the Walkathon in the spring and the Legacy Fundraiser in the fall.

Walkathons

Walkathons have served as one of the largest fundraisers for the organization. Participants have included community leaders and members, Mayors, City Council members and entrepreneurs in the City of Alexandria.

Dr. Mohamed Mustafa and Wife

Dr. Mohamed Mustafa and Mrs. Lougenia Williams served faithfully for over 20 years by supporting the community and all of the initiatives of PDAAB.

Walkathon 2010

The former Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, The Honorable Bill Euille is photographed supporting the efforts of Project Discovery Alexandria.

Walkathon 2013

Legacy Fundraisers

Dr. Iburia Hall-Haynes (Iburia), Vice Chair. After joining PDAAB in 2012, Iburia served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Legacy Event Fundraisers. She was also instrumental in securing one of the largest PDA donors, Mr. Jerry McCargo, President and CEO of ARServices in Alexandria, VA.

2014 Legacy Event

The 2014 Legacy Event featured  Jummy Olabanji, Anchor WJLA TV 7;  Janine Carter, International Vocalist; Reggie Sellers (I’ma Poet), and Sheryl Robertson, Author and Spoken Word Artist.

Natalie Vaughn Book Scholarship

Judiith Vaughn, Chair Natalie Vaughn Book Scholarship With Students

Ms. Judy Vaughn (Judy), Chair of the Natalie Vaughn Scholarship. Judy has worked diligently with the Scholarship Committee to grant scholarships in the name of her mother, Mrs. Natalie Vaughn.

Mrs. Natalie Vaughn had an outstanding career as an educator. She was Dean of Women at North Carolina A&T College and taught at Bowie State Teachers’ College before becoming a teacher, Vice Principal, and then Principal in the Alexandria City Public School Division.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Inc. Represents

Judith Vaughn, Iburia Hall-Haynes & Sherry Billingsley

Ms. Judith Vaughn (Judy), Dr. Iburia Hall-Haynes (Iburia) and Ms. Sherry Billingsley (Sherry) are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and they serve on the PDAAB.

Membership 2019-2020

The PDAAB membership during 2019-2020 included: Sherry Billingsley, Cherie McClam Brown, Past Chair, Cassandra Chess, Chair, Walkathon, Michael Crifasi, Chair, Fundraising, Shawna Gary, Chair, Book Scholarships, Iburia Hall-Haynes, Ph.D., Vice Chair, Stanley Lamb, Bruce Milton, Chair, Mohamed Mustafa, Ph.D., Lillian Patterson, Sheree Pendleton, Nia Shabazz, Zavin Smith, Judith Vaughn, Chair of Natalie Vaughn Book Scholarship, Lougenia Williams, & Marques Wilson.

PDAAB made great strides under the staff leadership of Noraine Buttar, Youth Development Team Leader, Rashad Price, Project Discovery Coordinator & Kimberly L. Hurley, M.S., Health & Community Education Specialist. 

Although some efforts of previous PDAAB leaders (officers) have been highlighted, all PDAAB members since 2012, have worked effectively in their areas of expertise to support the mission and goals of PDAAB.  The leaders (officers) could not have done their work without the support of the entire membership. They supported and assisted in all of the efforts of PDAAB.

2019 End-of-Year Program

A special “shout out” to those who have helped to make the Project Discovery of Alexandria Advisory Board strong advocates for the students at T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA.

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