Achieving Dreams

2016 Achieving Dreams Celebration - 10th Annual

When:  Thursday, October 6, 2016

Where:  Greystone Hall, 103 S. High Street (downtown) Akron, OH  44308

Event Chairpersons:  S. Theresa Carter & Jacqueline Silas-Butler

New format:  

We will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a private reception for honorees, sponsors, and other VIP patrons. 

At 6:00 p.m., all guests will be able to move throughout the venue and enjoy delicious food stations, participate in the auction and raffles, and enjoy the entertainment in the various rooms. 

At 7:15 p.m., we will gather in the ballroom for the awards program and the conclusion of the evening.

For information about sponsorships, tickets, or advertisements, please contact Project GRAD Akron at 330-761-3113 or email


2015 Achieving Dreams Celebration - 9th Annual

When:  Thursday, October 1, 2015

Where:  St. George's Fellowship Hall, 3204 Ridgewood Road, Akron, OH  44333

Event Chairpersons:  Traci Buckner, Katerina Pappas, Esq., and Mona Sarkar, Esq.


2014 Achieving Dreams Celebration - 8th Annual

When:     Thursday, October 2, 2014
Where:    St. George's Fellowship Hall
               3204 Ridgewood Road • Akron, OH 44333
Event Chairpersons:  Judi Hill and Stephanie "Stevie" Turner

2014 Community Service Honorees

Bishop F. Josephus "Joey" Johnson II and Pastor Cathy L. Johnson and The House of the Lord

2014 Honorees - Buchtel Alumni

  • Thomas DeBord
  • Howard Hewett
  • Stacey Hodoh
  • Kelley Coleman Walton 

Event Sponsors   

 Presenting Sponsor  

Together, we are making a difference in our Communities. The difference speaks volumes about who we are, what we value, and the real legacy we want to leave for the next generation. At OMNOVA Solutions that's how we feel about community involvement, and it's part of the fabric of the way we do business. Our gifts of money, time, talents help demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the communities where we work and live.

Scholar Sponsor


Achiever Sponsors

  • Alpha Phi Alpha Foundation of Akron, Ohio
  • Kent State University

Mentor Sponsors 

  • Akron General Health System
  • Buckeye Community Health Plan
  • Dianne & Herbert Newman
  • State and Federal Communications, Inc.
  • Summa Health System
  • Walmart

Collaborator Sponsors

  • Akron Children's Hospital
  • Jacqueline & Lawrence Butler
  • Dr. Gregory & Mrs. Judi Hill
  • KeyBank
  • Roger and Judy Read
  • Rubber City Radio Group, Inc.
  • Stark State College
  • Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home & Cremation Service
  • The Maynard Family Foundation

Media Sponsor

•Akron Beacon Journal/

 Project GRAD Akron's Achieving Dreams Celebrations - Past Events, Speakers, and Honorees

2013 Achieving Dreams Celebration – 7th Annual

Date:  Thursday, October 3, 2013
Location:  St. George’s Family Center, 3204 Ridgewood Road, Akron, OH
Event Chairpersons:  Roxia Boykin & Iris Harvey
Community Service Honorees
  • Bob Kulinksi
  • Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home - William Calhoun
Buchtel Alumni Awards
  • Young Alumni Award
    • Shayla L. Brown
  • Distinguished Service to Humanity Award
    • Pamela Hamilton-Stubbs, MD
    • Leon Harris
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
    • The Honorable Tom Sawyer
  • Memorial Award
    • Barbara Dirden Mathews


2012 Achieving Dreams Celebration – 6th Annual

Date:  Thursday, November 1, 2012
Location:  St. George’s Family Center, 3204 Ridgewood Road, Akron, OH
Event Chairpersons:  Iris Harvey & Bernett L. Williams
Honorary Chairpersons:  Attorneys Dianne and Herbert Newman
Honorees:  Celebrating Buchtel Alumni
  • Memorial - Stanley M. Bober, CPA
  • Community Service  - Magistrate Sharon Hairston Dennis
  • Young Alumni – Brittany Grimes Zaehringer, Esq.
  • Distinguished Service to Humanity
  • John Saros, Esq. 
  • Marilyn Sanders Mobley, Ph.D
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Dr. Robert Stone & Mrs. Rochelle Dienoff Stone 


2011 Achieving Dreams Celebration - 5th Annual

Date:  October 27, 2011
Location:  Quaker Station
Event Chairpersons:  Judi Bevly Hill & Margaret E. Williams
Honorary Chairperson:  Eileen Burg
Community Service Honoree
• Tuesday Musical Association - Barbara Feld, Executive Director
Distinguished Service to Humanity - Buchtel Alumni
• Gregory Hill, DO
Kymberly "Kym" Alford Sellers
• Victoria Turner-King
Young Alumni Honoree - Buchtel Alumni
• Brandon Ford, RN, Esq.
Lifetime Achievement Honorees - Buchtel Alumni
Melodie Morgan-Minott, MD
• Dianne Rubin Newman
• Herbert Newman, Esq.
• Judy Licklider Read & Roger Read

2010 Achieving Dreams Celebration  - 4th Annual

Date:  October 28, 2010 
Location:  Quaker Station
Event Chairpersons:  Judi Bevly Hill & Margaret E. Williams
Honorary Chairperson:  Eileen Burg
Honorees - Celebrating Buchtel Alumni
Distinguished Service to Humanity
• Betty Dalton
• Fred Gissendaner
• Gail C. Walker
Young Alumni Honoree
Raynese Scott Fikes, DDS
Lifetime Achievement
• Nicholas T. George, Esq.
• Judge Carla D. Moore 
• Edwin L. Parms, Esq.

2009 Achieving Dreams Celebration - 3rd Annual

Date:  October 22, 2009
Location:  Quaker Station
Event Chairperson:  Debra Adams Simmons
Keynote Speaker:  Dr. David L. Burnham (Buchtel graduate)
Honorees - Partnering to Achieve the Dream - Celebrating our Partners
Kent State University's Top Honoree
• Scott Curfman
The University of Akron's Top Honoree
• Dr. Deborah Owens-Fink
  Additional persons were recognized from various departments at both universities. 

2008 Achieving Dreams Celebration - 2nd Annual

Date:  October 3, 2008
Location:  Quaker Station
Event Chairperson:  Jacqueline Silas-Butler
Honorary Chairpersons:  Robert W. Briggs & Vivian Celeste Neal
Keynote Speaker:  Glynis Wheeler Redwine, Esq. (Buchtel graduate)
Project GRAD Akron Educator of the Year
Dreama Mason
Project GRAD Akron Parent of the Year
• Pamela LeGrair
Project GRAD Akron Volunteers of the Year
• Deborah Cunningham
Buchtel High School PTA - Diana Autry, President

2007 Achieving Dreams Celebration - 1st Annual

Date:  October 24, 2007
Location:  Tangier
Event Chairperson:  S. Theresa Carter
Honorary Chairpersons:  Dr. Luis Proenza & Dr. Sylvester Small
Keynote Speaker:  Leon Harris (Buchtel graduate)
Project GRAD Akron Educator of the Year
Johnnette Snowden Curry
Project GRAD Akron Parent of the Year
Russel C. Neal, Jr.
Project GRAD Akron Volunteers of the Year
• James E. Toles and Susan Vogelsang

2012 Photo Gallery

 Students Programs Support Us

2011 Photos

Bennett L. Gains Eileen Burg ~ Honorary Chariperson and Judi Hill ~ Leadership Committee Kymberly Alford Sellers- Distinguished Service to Humanity Honoree Lee Gill, J.D., Associate VP for Inclusion & Chief Equity Diversity Officer, University of Akron Special Guest of Honor - Her Excellency, Ambassador Amina Salum Ali Dr. Ramona Ortega-Liston, Jacqueline Silas-Butler, Ambassador Amina Salum Ali, Lee Gill, & Graduate Student Debra North Sommerville bidding on auction items Tuesday Musical Association - 2011 Community Service Honoree - Barbara Feld, Executive Director 2011 Young Alumni Honoree ~ Brandon Ford, RN, Esq. 2011 Distinguished Service to Humanity Honoree ~ Kymberly Alford Sellers 2011 Distinguished Service to Humanity Honoree ~ Victoria Turner-King 2011 Lifetime Achievement Honorees~Dianne Rubin Newman, Esq. & Herbert Newman, Esq. 2011 Achieving Dreams Honorees