KEYSTONE, West Virginia (WVVA) – Nate Smith and Vondelere Scott today received the John P. Stephenson Community Service Award from the Brushy Fork Leadership Institute at Berea College. Scott and Smith are two of five people who came to the leadership institute in 1990 in hopes of creating an after-school program for children in Keystone.
“We were interested in getting something for the kids. Here, it is difficult to find an activity for them. I received a letter [while] my son was going to college there [Berea] , and I got a letter from Bill Turner, and he said they had this kind of program, and he wanted me to bring people to the workshop. said Scott.
When the group returned from the workshop, they started Black Mountain, a community service project that was able to provide a safe place for children after school. Since 1990, the organization has had several iterations. It exists today under the name of WATT, or We Are The Teachers. The program always helps kids with extracurricular activities and gives them a place where kids can be kids.
Of the impact of her contribution, Smith said, “If I could save a child, maybe that child could move on. And remember one thing we taught them. “
Besides the certificates, Smith and Scott received original oil paintings. The subject of the paintings were iconic nature scenes of West Virginia, with visual metaphors of their service. The two are surviving members of the original five who attended Berea College’s Brushy Fork Leadership Institute in 1990. Typically, the institute awards only one person per year, this year they made an exception.
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