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Roy Heron's Vision for T.C. Williams - Now Open

Gale Curcio
By Gale Curcio
Posted on Feb 01,2012
Filed Under News , Community,
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Photo by Gale Curcio<br /> <br />Dr. Heron celebrates as the ribbon is cut for the Carson Reading Room at T.C. Williams High School.
Photo by Gale Curcio
Dr. Heron celebrates as the ribbon is cut for the Carson Reading Room
at T.C. Williams High School.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Dr. Roy Heron, the founder of Doctor’s Weight Loss Center, had a vision.
 
He shared his vision with Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, who in turn shared it with Suzanne Maxey, the principal of T.C. Williams High School and Dr. Morton Sherman, the superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools.

Photo by Gale Curcio<br /> <br />B. Keith Fulton, Barbara Heron, Dr. Roy Heron, Dr. Morton Sherman, Candy Carson, Bill Euille, Suzanne Maxey, Christina Gutierrez and Del Pepper.
Photo by Gale Curcio
B. Keith Fulton, Barbara Heron, Dr. Roy
Heron, Dr. Morton Sherman, Candy Carson,
Bill Euille, Suzanne Maxey, Christina Gutierrez
and Del Pepper.

All of the above parties – and other honored guests – were on hand on Jan.13  for the dedication of the Ben Carson Reading Room at T.C. Williams High School. The project was the culmination of two years of hard work and dedicated fundraising by Heron and members of the DC Metro Carson Scholars Chapter.  

The reading room is the brainchild of Dr. Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and author of “Gifted Hands.”

The new reading room is one of over 60 Ben Carson Reading Rooms that currently exist in nine states; the one at T.C. Williams is the first in Virginia. The Ben Carson Reading Project provides funding and support to local schools so that they can create friendly and inviting reading rooms in schools for students to discover the joy of reading.

"This is what it’s all about," said Rep. Jim Moran, who spoke at the dedication. "You are opening up a whole new world."

“I was so excited when I met Ben Carson. Ben is a great man; brilliant and is changing the world. This [room] will provide a comprehensive learning program.”

Photo by Gale Curcio<br /> <br />Rep.  Jim Moran addresses the crowd.
Photo by Gale Curcio
Rep. Jim Moran addresses the crowd.

Dr. Sherman then spoke, recalling how Heron and Euille connected him with the work that Carson does.

“From that conversation, it grew into this,” Sherman said. “When I first spoke to Bill and Roy, they were thinking big.”

Bill Euille thanked Sherman for “believing in the project” and then went onto acknowledge Heron and Carson, saying, “Roy is a healer of bodies. Ben is a healer of minds. They came together to make a difference.”

Heron said, “I want to be the spark for the community and the trail setter for the area. I want to see one to two new reading rooms every year.”

Part of the money raised was apportioned to The Carson Scholars Fund scholarship – a program that awards students who strive for academic excellence and demonstrate a strong commitment to their community with $1,000 college scholarships.

Photo by Gale Curcio<br /> <br />Suzanne Maxey, principal of T. C. Williams.<br />
Photo by Gale Curcio
Suzanne Maxey, principal of T. C. Williams.

Receiving those awards were Samuel Davies and  Abby Bolton. Davies addressed the crowd, as did DeAra Brown and Ra’Quell Carrington, sophomore and junior representatives respectively, all of whom spoke eloquently about their dreams and goals for the future.

Heron started raising money in 2010, holding a fundraising Gala at The New Zealand Embassy,

He went on to solicit sponsors and donations throughout 2011 and made a great connection when he met B. Keith Fulton, vice president of Verizon Virginia; they agreed to be the main sponsor of the project.

“Not too long ago, we were having dinner and talking about this,” said Fulton. “Now it’s here. Everybody believes in you. That’s why we’re here and that’s why we did what we did.”

When the speeches came to a close, the students and guests got their first view of the reading room. Filled with hundreds of books donated by Duffy Books in Homes USA, the room is also equipped with kindles, laptops, and IPADS. There are comfortable chairs, making it a warm and inviting place to read and dream about the future.

For more information, visit http://carsonscholars.org/content/about-csf/chapters/washington.

Photo by Gale Curcio<br /> <br />Samuel Davies, Carson Scholar recipient.
Photo by Gale Curcio
Samuel Davies, Carson Scholar recipient.

Photo by Gale Curcio<br /> <br />DeAra Brown, sophomore, T.C. Williams High School.
Photo by Gale Curcio
DeAra Brown, sophomore, T.C. Williams
High School.

Photo by Gale Curcio<br /> <br />Ra'Quell Carrington, junior, T. C. Williams High School.
Photo by Gale Curcio
Ra'Quell Carrington, junior, T. C. Williams
High School.

Photo by Gale Curcio<br /> <br />Candy Carson delivers an animated message to the students.
Photo by Gale Curcio
Candy Carson delivers an animated message
to the students.




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