MEGA logo with SM May 2017

Hello MEGA Mentors and Supporters!

We hope you're well and in good spirits. Here's what's been happening with MEGA since the March 2018 newsletter.


Annual Membership Meeting Next Month

It's time for the MEGA family to meet and discuss the year's accomplishments and the path ahead. New members, classroom mentors, tutors, committee members and all other volunteers are welcome. We hope you will join us September 19, 2018 at 6 pm!

CTC @ Hull
13900 Hull Street Road
Midlothian, VA 23112

Fulghum Conference Center, Room D109.
Go to the back of the building and park near Door #20.

A light dinner will be served.
Please RSVP by Wednesday, August 29.


MEGA middle school students tour the Univerity of Hampton as part of their annual year-end merit trip April 13. Courtesy photo.

Middle School Students Tour Hampton Area

By L. J. McCoy, Jr.

HAMPTON, Va -- On lucky Friday the 13th, four chartered buses carrying Chesterfield middle school students rolled out of the county on an educational tour of Hampton, Virginia, for their annual year-end merit trip. MEGA Mentors students were being awarded for their successes with tours to Hampton University and the Virginia Air & Space Center.

With students from Carver Middle, Falling Creek Middle, Providence Middle, and Salem Church Middle Schools, MEGA Mentors coordinator McKinley “Mack” Moore was assisted in this quest by several mentors and school administrators. Focusing first on the campus of Hampton University, the young scholars were given a guided tour of the institution’s African American Museum of art and history.

After a filling lunch at County Grill & Smokehouse, they visited the Virginia Air & Space Center. They began their adventure with a scavenger hunt identifying the Wright Brothers’ first plane to the Apollo Moon Mission. Climaxing the day, the students viewed the museum signature 3-D theater – the IMAX.

In today’s sensitive and challenging scholastic environment, MEGA Mentors will continue its programs of encouraging our youth to perform at their best in academics, school attendance, and social ethics.


MEGA middle school students tour the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton as part of their annual year-end merit trip April 13. Courtesy photo.


MEGA middle school students tour the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton as part of their annual year-end merit trip April 13. Courtesy photo.

UVA trip

MEGA high school students tour the Univerity of Virginia in Charlottesville as part of their annual year-end merit trip April 20. Courtesy photo.

High School Students Tour UVA, Monticello

By L. J. McCoy, Jr.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- While ninth grade students DeAngelo Gray, Taniyan Gregory, and Juan Ledesma enjoyed talking about their GPA improvements, twelfth graders Taylor Lowery and Dylan White spoke on what they could gain from the tour.

For their April 20 year-end merit trip, MEGA Mentors took over 70 high school students from Carver Career College & Academy, the Career & Technical Center, and Meadowbrook High Schools on a field trip of the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s home of Monticello. Touring the campus of UVA, they learned that although Jefferson designed the school he was educated at William & Mary; the school was built by slaves; and early students enjoyed calithumping (riding horses while shooting). In a Peabody Hall lecture, Allyson Umali explained the various academic courses available for study at the institution.

After lunch in the campus cafeteria, the young scholars visited Jefferson’s Monticello home and gardens. Featuring an entrance foyer museum with Native American and trophy artifacts, the home amazed the students with Jefferson’s book collection and innovative inventions. The stop also included a slave tour of a reconstructed slave home and the Jefferson family grave site.

“Everyone enjoyed the field trip,” said Brenda White, a classroom mentor at Carver Academy. “The students were especially engaged and in awe during the tour and history of Monticello and the grounds. They were on their best behavior as they were educated in the history of this 25th nationally ranked university.”

UVA trip2

MEGA high school students tour the Univerity of Virginia in Charlottesville as part of their annual year-end merit trip April 20. Courtesy photo.

UVA trip3

MEGA high school students tour Monticello as part of their annual year-end merit trip April 20. Courtesy photo.

Squirrels 2018

Carver Academy students pose with Flying Squirrels' personnel during their May 29 visit as part of MEGA's Walk a Mile program. Courtesy photo.

Students ‘Walk a Mile’ with Richmond Flying Squirrels

MEGA Mentors Carver Academy High students attended a Flying Squirrels game May 29 and got a dose of day-to-day management of the team. Flying Squirrels Director of Community Outreach Megan Angstadt introduced the students to a few team members and explained the activities that occur in the Diamonds’ tunnel. After meeting Squirrels pitcher Dan Siania, the students also shared a photo op with U.S. Representative Donald McEachin (D-VA).

The students also visited NBC 12 in Richmond where they toured the studio and met with the Vice President and General Manger Kym Grinnage, who is also a MEGA Mentors member.

“The Walk a Mile program is a great way for students to see the operations side of local businesses and see how education and hard work pay off,” said Howard Corey, MEGA’s Vice President of Programming. “We take the kids to different organizations every year, but the Squirrels has been a favorite so we keep going back.”


Guest speaker Dr. Jame'l R. Hodges discusses topics such as self-esteem and motivation at the May 31 Recognition Event. Photo by Jadien Jones.

MEGA Hosts Excellence Awards & Recognition Celebration

By L. J. McCoy, Jr.
and Misha King

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. -- As the student jazz ensemble played easy listening music at the Career Training Center on Hull St., students, administrators, and guests filled the Thomas Flugrum auditorium May 31 as MEGA Mentors held its 2018 Excellence Awards and Recognition Celebration.

Program MC Phil “Philly Phil” Daniels kept everyone’s interest before introducing Chesterfield School Board Chair John M. Erbach and Interim Superintendent Dr. Donald Fairheart. Inspiring the students as the guest speaker, Dr. Jame’l R. Hodges who is the Associate VP of Student Success and Engagement at Virginia State University pushed self-esteem, motivation, and respect upon the students.

MEGA Mentors Vice Presidents Howard Corey and Ed Baine, and Membership and Training Co-Chair Carol Dalesa Mack-Grisby presented the Students of the Year Awards. The awardees were:

Students of the Year
Carver Middle School
Milagros Torres and Thomas Roy – Grade 6
Keyaisa Dodson and Patrick Noggins – Grade 7
Yemen Brown and Evan James Brown – Grade 8

Falling Creek Middle School
Anyah Allen and Caden Cosely-Sims – Grade 6
Keira Lawrence and Jake Martinez – Grade 7
Brianna Johnson and Jeremiah Grey – Grade 8

Manchester Middle School
Trinity Goode and John Campos – Grade 6
Diamond Burrell and Tyler Richardson – Grade 7
Debony Martin and Caron Greene – Grade 8

Providence Middle School
Anjeolaoluwa R. Archer and Naeshon D. Wilson – Grade 6
Evelin Y. Alfaro Rivas and Andre S. Lockey – Grade 7
Desiree N. Baldwin-Bailey and Martin D. Ellerbee, Jr. – Grade 8

Salem Church Middle School
Aria Armstead and Jerome Hazelwood – Grade 6
Jailen Austin – Grade 7

CTC Hull 360 Academy
Derrick Ross and Eberlin Izaguirre-Cuellar – Grade 9

Carver College and Career Academy
Antoinette Williams and Zyaire Muhammed – Grade 9
Grace Stone and Devonte Lewis – Grade 10
Sherlin Urgell and Dylan White – Grade 11
Tasia Bibbs and Enoch Bullock – Grade 12

Meadowbrook High School
Najee Williams and Sean Summers – Grade 9
Tumilya Barksdale – Grade 10
Alexis Jones and Kirt Studevant – Grade 11
Diamond Coleman and Tyrone Campbell – Grade 12

Mentors, Coordinators, School and Partnership Awardees

Mentors of the Year
Verna Bradby – Providence Middle School
Adam Hawkins – 360 Academy

School Coordinators of the Year
Jori Swingen – Falling Creek Middle School
Karen Lee – Meadowbrook High School

School of the Year
Manchester Middle School

Partnership Award
Midlothian Rotary Club

Additionally, Manchester Middle School was awarded a $5,000 STEM Grant for being the MEGA Mentors School of the Year.

MEGA Mentors President Greg Cummings also recognized all the classroom mentors for their hard work and dedication in helping improve students' lives.

Cummings concluded the program by inviting churches, retirees, and individuals to volunteer their services to assist in mentoring our FUTURE by contacting MEGA Mentors at


Event guests watch as students are presented with awards at the May 31 Recognition Event. Photo by Jadien Jones.


Outstanding students are presented awards at the May 31 Recognition Event. Photo by Jadien Jones.


The MEGA Mentors leadership team poses with guest speaker Dr. Jame'l R. Hodges Event at the May 31 Recognition Event. Photo by Jadien Jones.


Church Recognizes Middle School Teachers

First Baptist Centralia has adopted Salem Church Middle School and is providing mentors and other services for MEGA's programs. At the end of the school year in June, Pastor Wilson Shannon and other congregation members presented roses to each of the Salem Church teachers in recognition and appreciation for their hard work and dedication to the students.

"We are blessed to have First Baptist on our team and we sincerely thank them for their contributions to our community," said Greg Cummings, MEGA's president.


MEGA Needs Committee Members!

MEGA is also actively seeking volunteers for its committees:

1. Communication & Technology (website, social media, internal and external communication, FABS tech support)
2. Events (FABS, field trips, recognition event, etc.)
3. Finance
4. Fundraising & Development
5. Membership and Training
6. Programs & Curriculum
7. Recruiting
1. Communication & Technology (website, social media, internal and external communication, FABS tech support)
2. Events (FABS, field trips, recognition event, etc.)
3. Finance
4. Fundraising & Development
5. Membership and Training
6. Programs & Curriculum
7. Recruiting

If you're interested and not already a member, please fill out an application online at If you're already a member please contact us at


MEGA Recruiting in Full Swing

MEGA Mentors has recently formed a Recruiting Committee dedicated to providing classroom mentors at the eight schools it services. MEGA is extremely grateful to Dominion Energy for its tremendous support toward this effort.

If you are aware of any local organizations, such as businesses or churches, who are willing to help mentor Chesterfield County students, please have them contact MEGA Mentors at:


Bravo! Awards Recipients Announced

The Chesterfield Education Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2018 Bravo! Awards, recognizing outstanding professional and community achievements of Chesterfield County Public Schools’ alumni. On Thursday, November 8, 2018, the 10th Annual Bravo! Awards gala dinner will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel to honor this year’s recipients.

Recipients to be honored at the 2018 Bravo! Awards are:

Morgan Dean
Co-Anchor Good Morning Richmond, WRIC-TV 8News
Manchester High School, Class of 1989
Christina Rodi Hager
Senior Market Originator, Dominion Energy
James River High School, Class of 2002
Doug Pridgen
Owner and CEO, Haley Auto Group
Midlothian High School, Class of 1975
LTC Niel Smith
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
Monacan High School, Class of 1993
Vincent Ellis White
Program Manager, Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia
Meadowbrook High School, Class of 1998

For more information about the Bravo! Awards and this year’s recipients, visit the Chesterfield Education Foundation’s website.

Bravo recipients

Chesterfield Education Foundation photos.


Upcoming Events

▪ September 19: Annual Membership Meeting
▪ October: Mentoring begins at all schools
▪ November 8: 10th Annual BRAVO! Awards
▪ January 18: 8th Fine Art Benefit & Sale (FABS)
September 19: Annual Membership Meeting
October: Mentoring begins at all schools
November 8: 10th Annual BRAVO! Awards
January 18: 8th Fine Art Benefit & Sale (FABS)

Visit MEGA Mentors' website event calendar for more events and updates.

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