Pemberton Shares Improbable Story at BG Raines Forum

Posted by Brent Treash

The Neff Education Center of Emory & Henry College hosted the 30th Annual B. G. Raines Education Forum on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

Attendees from across the region included teachers, education students, school officials and civic leaders interested in education.

Steve Pemberton, a pioneering corporate executive, visionary youth advocate, dedicated board member and best-selling author, delivered the keynote address. He spoke about equality, access and opportunity pillars of his professional and personal life.

“At one and half years old, I was described by a caretaker as a boy who would not have a chance in the world,” remarked Pemberton. Pemberton is the chief human resources officer for Globoforce. He was formerly the chief diversity officer and divisional vice president for Walgreens, one of America’s oldest and most successful companies. He was the first person in the company’s 113-year history to hold that position.

Pemberton shared his story of defying seemingly impossible odds. His relentless march to adulthood is powerfully captured in his memoir, A Chance in the World (Harper Collins, 2012). His book describes the extraordinary challenges of navigating a foster care system that had forgotten about him while trying to solve the mystery of his identity and one day, triumphantly return home. Pemberton was aided in his quest by the kindnesses of several teachers who were unaware that their gifts were giving him the resolve to carry on and fulfill his purpose.

The event included a poster session on projects created by Emory & Henry College students. Workshops were also hosted by the 2017 McGlothlin Award Winners Glen Chilcote, Montgomery County Schools, and Fred Mitchell, Carroll County Schools, and the 2017 Virginia Teacher of the Year Michelle Cottrell-Williams, Arlington Public Schools.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) nationally accredits the Emory & Henry program. We offer initial licensure areas in two options, the undergraduate (four-year) and the five-year (B.A. or B.S. plus M.A. Ed. in Professional Studies).

A Fast Track M.Ed. in Professional Studies is also available which requires a teaching content area, usually a B.A. or a B.S. in a teaching subject.   

The Master of Arts in Education in Reading is also available and is designed for working teachers. Licensed teachers who complete the reading program qualify to be certified as Reading Specialists in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • Steve Pemberton presents the keynote address at the BG Raines Forum.
    Steve Pemberton presents the keynote address at the BG Raines Forum.

Location:

McGlothlin Center for the Arts

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