Founder, CEO of An Achievable Dream Academy dies [The Virginian-Pilot]
(Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 18--NEWPORT NEWS -- Walter Segaloff, the founder and CEO of An Achievable Dream Academy, died today, according to a statement from the organization.
Segaloff died of a heart attack outside of a gym in Newport News, the statement said.
The nonprofit organization runs a public school for children from poor families in Newport News and has plans to open a replica of that school in Virginia Beach in fall 2014.
In an interview earlier this year, Segaloff said he got the idea for An Achievable Dream when he watched from his car as police handcuffed three teens.
"I felt there's no American dream here," he said in the interview. "It isn't happening."
He said he had also noticed that his family's stores had trouble hiring workers because many applicants didn't know how to act or speak in an interview. He said he wanted to change that.
An after-school tennis and tutoring program for at-risk children worked and so the Newport News superintendent asked Segaloff's team to run an elementary school. An Achievable Dream followed those students to middle and then high school. Today, An Achievable Dream runs an upper and a lower school, both fully accredited, serving 1,250 students in two old school buildings.
"No words can adequately express the admiration of the employees or board members who worked so closely with Walter since 1992 to create An Achievable Dream and see it grow and prosper for the benefit of young people in Newport News," the organization's statement said.
"Walter was about to see another dream realized, the development of a second An Achievable Dream school, this one in Virginia Beach."
The statement said the board and staff will work to see that ambition fulfilled and continue their work in Newport News.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.
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