GVP’s Annual Gala:
Tribute to Education
The 2018 Tribute to Education held on Sunday, April 29th at The Temple was a wonderful evening filled with friends of GVP who came together for fun and fundraising.
Thanks to our community, GVP raised over $250,000 to provide quality educational programming for refugee girls in Atlanta including STEAM integration, experiential learning, and one on one counseling.
We are grateful for the generosity of our guests, volunteers, and local businesses for making this event such a big success. Special thank you to ISHR Group, CORE International Consulting, Accelebrate, Apres Diem, Cafe Alsace, Graphic Solutions, Leon’s Full Service, Shepard Exposition Services, Zest Catering, Refuge Coffee Co., and Soiree Catering & Events.
Over 200 people enjoyed our GVP ensemble; an inspiring keynote message from one of our first college graduates Bertha Nibigra, and a lively auction.
Global Village Project cannot continue its work without your support. If for any reason you weren’t able to give during the event, there’s still time for you to make your Tribute gift!
by Paul Varian
Connie Bryans, Board Member
Connie Bryans, who will soon conclude a 6-year tenure as a board member of the Global Village Project, has forged a legacy of activism as a volunteer and fundraiser for worthy causes.
“It never occurs to me to say no,” is her motto.
Connie spent 30 years as a “special needs” mostly high school teacher in Decatur, nearby Avondale Estates and elsewhere and helped raise and nurture six children from broken families, both girls and boys, as an unofficial foster mother.
She retired from teaching in 2005, after her father’s death, to help run his farm and real estate businesses in Morgan County, Ga., as well as the family foundation. She also started doing volunteer fundraising and development work for the immigration resettlement and services group now known as New American Pathways.
Refugees became her focus on a frigid December day when she and her close friend Margaret Lunsford, then a middle school counselor, went to an apartment complex to pick up one of Margaret’s students and his two sisters — refugees who had to leave their mother behind in the East African nation of Burundi — for a Christmas trip to the mall to see Santa and buy presents.
“It was 23 degrees and all these kids came to greet us with no shoes on,” Ms. Bryans recalls. How could there be such deprivation just a 10-minute drive from her affluent community of Avondale, she thought — “so much need, so much abundance.”
“I thought I could bring those kids resources from Avondale,” she said.
Then Connie discovered GVP and went to an “Authors’ Tea” where she was stunned by the story recited by an African refugee student: “She had 13 brothers and sisters and they had all died of starvation.”
That prompted Connie to sign on as a GVP volunteer, helping to set up future Authors’ Teas where the students are the authors — they write and read their stories for gatherings of donors, volunteers and others inspired by the cheerful dedication of the adolescent girls from an ever-changing variety of cultures.
She soon became involved in development projects and fundraising for GVP and became a board member, serving the maximum two three-year terms. She steps down in July but will continue her work for GVP.
“I’m pleased where we are today — how advanced we’ve become in serving the students,”she said.
Connie is mentor to GVP graduate Niza Vang, a nearly straight-A junior at Meadowcreek High in Gwinnett County, and recently took her to visit the sprawling and picturesque campus of Berry College in Rome, Ga., the first stop on her tour of potential colleges.
Connie, who also volunteers as co-president of the Madison-Morgan County chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of America, said she was drawn to Global Village because of its “warm, caring environment,” unlike public schools.
“I tell everybody it’s the ‘Golden Ticket’ if they can get their daughter into the school.”
GOTR Practice 5K – April 10th
GVP girls practice for their 5K Run.
GOTR Program Finale 5K Run – April 28th
On April 28th, our first ever Girls On The Run Heart & Sole team participated in a 5K Run around Atlantic Station! This run was the the program’s culminating event. Thanks to our staff, volunteers, and GVP family members that ran with our girls and thanks to those that came out to cheer us on. Special thanks to Girls on the Run for providing GVP with a scholarship team! We appreciate the running shoes, running pants, water bottles, amazing memories and more! This program has been a great addition to our school. Our students were challenged and had so much fun. We are thankful for GOTR and its impact on the lives of young girls!
GVP Presents Authors’ Tea… Coding at GVP!
On April 13th, GVP girls gave the audience an introduction to codes, explained how to use Scratch coding, and Illustrated how they use codes in Math, Geography, and Music. The girls also presented songs they wrote inspired by their coding unit. Special thanks to our Authors’ Tea host, Susan Bennett and the women of First Baptist Church of Decatur. We are grateful for our GVP community and new and old friends that joined us for our final Authors’ Tea of the school-year.