On July 10, 2018, the City of Chesapeake lost an advocate for education. When you say the name Dr. William E. Ward, many titles come to mind such as husband, father, friend, mentor, politician, and educator.
His lifelong mission was to create The New Chesapeake Men for Progress Education Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It was established January 21, 2010 as the philanthropic arm of the New Chesapeake Men for Progress with Dr. William Ward as the first president. The mission of the foundation is to provide scholarships, grants, and mentoring services to African American males in the City of Chesapeake. During the past ten years, the New Chesapeake Men for Progress Education Foundation has recognized over one hundred ninety-five young African American male graduates from the City of Chesapeake’s seven high schools. The students were awarded either $1000.00 scholarships or $200.00 book stipends. All these young men are either currently enrolled in or are graduates of colleges and universities throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and across the country.
As the recently-elected chairman of the New Chesapeake Men for Progress Education Foundation, I have been a long-time member of the organization and have been instrumental in maintaining its financial stability as its former treasurer. In our last face to face conversation, I assured Dr. Ward that his legacy of the Education Foundation will continue.
In September, I announced my goals for this organization for this year at its board meeting. The NCMPEF is one of the premier charitable organizations in the Hampton Roads area and will continue to operate by demonstrating financial responsibility. The Scholarship Breakfast in April and the Black-Tie Gala in November are our signature events, which will continue. I wish to expand the Scholarship Breakfast to include the recognition of Chesapeake Middle School students.
Additionally, I wish to foster partnerships with mentoring programs such as Ground Zero Youth Development Inc. (an organization that interacts with young males in Hampton Roads) and potentially, the Virginia Commonwealth Challenge. It is my vision to not only recognize and grant scholarships to Chesapeake’s best and brightest students, but to also mentor and guide those students who may need us the most.
Unfortunately, one champion for education fell recently, but I have answered the call. I am challenging YOU to join me and the NCMPEF in answering the call to be some child’s champion.
Al Alexander is chairman of The New Chesapeake Men for Progress Education Foundation.