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ACCESS College Foundation News & Updates

Check back frequently to see all of the things happening at ACCESS!

ACCESS College Commitment Day 2019

Our fourth annual College Commitment Day, held on April 30, 2019 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center, was a huge success!

Thanks to our Presenting Partner Old Dominion University and Diamond Elite Partner Virginia529, nearly 2,200 Southside and Northampton County high school seniors were able to celebrate their college acceptances in a BIG way.

Event Partners and Access Staff collectively awarded scholarships totaling $30,000!  For the fourth year in a row, Z104's Shaggy brought the house down with his energy and music.  Check out the news coverage of the event on WVEC, WAVY, WTKR, The Virginian-Pilot and Suffolk News Herald.

To the Class of 2019: Congratulations on your hard work. You deserve all the success in the world!


ACCESS Remembers Anne Shumadine

It is with heavy hearts that we share the loss of Anne Shumadine.

Anne was a founding board member of ACCESS College Foundation in 1988 and served as Board Chairman from 1996-2002. She was named a lifelong Emeritus Director in 2005.

Anne was integral to ACCESS from the very beginning. “In the early days, we relied on her legal expertise for our Articles of Incorporation and our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status,” says ACCESS President and CEO, Bonnie Sutton. “We have relied on her for just about everything else since.”

In 2005, along with Frank Batten, Josh Darden, Joan Brock and Tommy Johnson, Anne was made one of five initial Emeritus Directors, a position created for directors who had made an extraordinary difference to the foundation.

For Bonnie, Anne was one of her personal mentors. “Anne was a great leader with great leadership principles to follow. She had passion, compassion and the ability to think strategically on behalf of ACCESS,” says Bonnie. “As I think of the founding of ACCESS 30 years ago, I think of Frank, Josh and Anne involved in all aspects from the very first day. She was a remarkable woman.”

In last year’s annual report, Anne was asked what she thought about what ACCESS has become. “Whenever I go to something for ACCESS, I’m amazed at the new people who are there. To me, it’s an easy thing to support. I think when we sat around in 1989 and dreamed about what ACCESS could do, this is what it would be.”

“We are extraordinarily grateful for Anne’s service and friendship, both to those she touched through ACCESS, and to our Hampton Roads community at large,” says ACCESS Board Chairman, Frank Batten, Jr. “Anne was integral to so much of the foundation’s success and she will be greatly missed. ”

Anne’s legacy will live on in our hearts as we continue the work she loved here at ACCESS College Foundation.

ACCESS Receives 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator!

June 6, 2018 -- ACCESS is pleased to announce that we have again received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. This marks the 7th consecutive year in a row we've achieved this distinction!

Charity Navigator is America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. Charity Navigator works to provide clear, objective and reliable assessments of both the financial health and accountability/transparency of charities, allowing donors to feel confident in the charities they support. A 4-star rating indicates an organization exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its cause.

Only 4% of charities evaluated receive 4-star evaluations for 7 consecutive years, and we're proud to be one of them!

To learn more about our rating, visit our profile on the Charity Navigator website here.

ACCESS College Commitment Day 2018

Over 2,000 high school seniors from Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Northampton County gathered in the Ted Constant Convocation Center on April 24 to celebrate their acceptance into the colleges of their choice.

This high-energy event, emceed by Shaggy from Z104, was attended by students from Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Northampton County public schools. All of these seniors were helped by ACCESS on their journey to college, and were accepted into AT LEAST one college or university beginning in the Fall!

We even surprised the students and gave away scholarships and gift cards to be used for dorm shopping during our event!

We couldn’t do this without our sponsors. Special thanks goes to J & A Racing, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Radford University, Signature Family Wealth Advisors, University of Virginia, Virginia529, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Wesleyan University and ECPI. We truly appreciate your support!

Check out coverage of our event from WVEC here and our interview on WTKR's Coast Live here.

Find more photos from the event on our Facebook page! #IGotIn2018