Las Vegas Alumni Chapter Achievements

Brother Khadevis Robinson

Dream come true: UNLV’s Khadevis Robinson going back to Olympics

Robinson ran a masterful race in the 800-meter finals, finishing second for a U.S. qualifying spot at the London Olympics

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UNLV assistant coach Khadevis Robinson at the UNLV track Wednesday, June 13, 2012.

By Taylor Bern

UNLV track coach Khadevis Robinson is heading for the Olympics this summer after qualifying for the 800m dash on Monday, June 26, 2012.

Thanks to a calm first lap and an exquisite kick around the final turn, UNLV assistant track coach Khadevis Robinson is going back to the Olympics.

After winning both of his preliminary heats leading into Monday night’s finals at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., Robinson ran a picture-perfect race to finish second in the 800 meters with a time of 1 minute, 44.64 seconds. He finished behind 2008 Olympian Nick Symmonds (1:43.92) and just barely edged out first-time Olympian Duane Solomon Jr. (1:44.65). Ryan Martin (1:44.9), who finished fourth, has the unenviable position of being the fastest American 800 runner not to make the U.S. team.

“We are so proud of Coach KD and his accomplishments,” UNLV track and field coach Yvonne Wade said in a statement. “He has trained very hard for this while coaching our Rebels and it just proves that if you set your mind to something it can be done. Two of our Rebel family members are representing us in London. We all should be very proud.”

The other Rebel already going to London is Amanda Bingson, a senior thrower who qualified in the hammer throw last week.

This is Robinson’s second trip to the Olympics after making the Athens team in 2004. Robinson just barely missed qualifying in 2000 and 2008, finishing fourth both times.

The heartbreak of that second fourth-place finish nearly drove him from the sport for good, but Robinson couldn’t bring himself to walk away. Not when he could tell that he clearly still had the stuff to compete on the highest level.

This year he didn’t run an open race (non-relay) until earlier this month at the Pre Classic in Eugene. When you get to be 35, Robinson said, you know if you’ve still got it; there’s no need to try to work into it.

So, he went into the trials with a calm spirit, knowing that he would either succeed or fail, and be OK with both. Competing on the same Hayward Field track that he ran on at the Pre Classic, Robinson stuck to the same routines, even down to staying at the same hotel. And though he readily admits that he was in better shape in 2008, things worked out better this time around.

The men’s 800 meters at the London Olympics begins on Monday, Aug. 6 with the medal round scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 9.

Robinson said the most important thing he learned from his first trip to the Olympics was to look around and take everything in. Now he’s eight years older and will likely be the one giving that advice to younger athletes.

They would be wise to listen to him.


 

Brother Theron Goynes

Classing up the town

Theron Goynes says having his name on a park, school indicates his work was valued

  
By AMANDA LLEWELLYN

VIEW STAFF WRITER

Around these parts, former North Las Vegas City Councilman Theron Goynes is the closest thing to a living legend the city might have. After all, one doesn't garner the distinction of having both a park and elementary school named for you without good reason.

The honors came to Goynes in the late 1990s. Now 81, he was made the namesake for the Theron H. Goynes Park, 3909 W. Washburn Road, in 1998. Goynes in 2005 shared with his wife the honor of seeing the Clark County School District open the Theron H. & Naomi D. Goynes Elementary School, 3409 W. Deer Springs Way.

City Planner Michelle Menart said the City Council chose Goynes as honoree when it came time to name a new park as the 20th century drew toward a close.

"The suggestion was made that Goynes had contributed so much to the community it should be named after him," she said. "That was what everyone decided was the best thing."

Born in 1929 in Texarkana, Texas, Goynes graduated high school in 1947 and went on to attend Prairie View A&M University in south Texas, majoring in business administration and minoring in secondary education.

"I graduated in 1952 and went on to start my life," he said.

Later that year, Goynes joined the U.S. Air Force and served four years. He earned a Master of Arts degree in educational administration in 1963 at the Arizona State College at Flagstaff, which was later renamed Northern Arizona University.

Goynes said he met the love of his life when he took a teaching job in Nashville, Ark., and it was love at first sight.

"It was during our first faculty meeting," he said. "We dated a year before marrying. But I knew it was right long before then."

Goynes has been married to the same woman for 52 years, a feat he credits God with making possible.

"I think the first thing that will make a relationship work is to have a strong belief in your personal savior, Jesus Christ," he said. "Then you have to treat her as you would like to be treated by others."

Goynes and his family came to Nevada in 1964, recruited by the Clark County School District.

Goynes worked as an elementary school principal and teacher in the district until 1992. Naomi Goynes also taught school in the district.

"Those were some great years," he said. "I look back on those times and smile."

Goynes served 20 years on the North Las Vegas City Council, with his tenure ending in 2001. He worked tirelessly to promote education and growth in the valley.

"I was mayor pro tem for 12 of those years," he said. "I feel like we got a lot done, and I'm proud of my work there."

Goynes said he's now at an age when he can enjoy the fruits of his labor.

"I have three children and five grandchildren," he said. "Now I'm just trying to do the grandfather thing."

Goynes said he has always felt honored to have these facilities named for him, and he said he feels he deserves the recognition.

"I see it as a sign that someone cares about the work that I've done," he said. "I'm very happy about it."

Contact North Las Vegas and Downtown View reporter Amanda Llewellyn at allewellyn@viewnews.com or 380-4535.


Brother Melvin Stringer

Changing the world

Henderson man founds group to help Kenyan children

By MICHAEL LYLE
VIEW STAFF WRITER

God is Melvin Stringer's inspiration.

He has inspired Stringer to go to Kenya, see a need and fill it by starting the nonprofit group Kenya Kids Educational Enrichment Project, which he runs from his home in Henderson.

"There is a need beyond the borders of Henderson," Stringer said. "(It's) a need beyond the borders of Nevada and the borders of the United States."

Stringer had always wanted to go to Africa, but in 2001, he said God opened the door at the Episcopal Diocese Convention. Stringer saw a display by International Development Mission and decided to go on a mission trip with the group. Stringer has been to Kenya at least once a year since 2002.

"When you go there, you come back with a different perspective," Stringer said.

While there, Stringer experienced life through the eyes of children.

Some children wake up without necessities such as clean water. He saw this in Kibera, a division of Kenya's capital, Nairobi, and the largest slum in east Africa. It has an estimated population of 900,000.

Some children wake up longing to attend school.

"As far as education here (in the United States), students have the opportunity, just not always the desire (to learn)," Stringer said. "In Kenya, they have the desire but not always the opportunity. Some children have even walked 20 miles to try to attend a school."

Other children, who might have the fortune to go to school, wake up at the break of dawn to finish homework or study.

"They might not have electricity, so they have to study by candlelight or kerosene lamp," Stinger said.

Regardless of what needs each child might face, they all had one thing in common. They all captured Stringer's heart.

"Seeing their needs (firsthand) changes you," he said.

When he came back, he started KenyaKEEP, which became a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2006. With a staff of three, which includes Agnes Phillips and John Girouard, the group's mission was to support education in Kenya.

Kenya has a free education system, but most parents still can't send their children to school because amenities, such as uniforms, transportation and food, cost too much.

KenyaKEEP is set up to sponsor children in Kenya and to help alleviate the financial restrictions they face. Donations cover tuition, fees, cost of exams, uniforms, transportation, a mattress in the dorms and hygiene products such as deodorant and sanitary napkins. These supplies and money will cover students for the entire school year, which is divided into three 13-week terms.

"Education is something these children struggle to get," said Phillips, the treasurer of KenyaKEEP. "We would be nothing without our donors."

The cost of school depends on what year the child is in. For example, sponsoring a primary student for a year costs $250, and sponsoring a student in high school costs $450 a year.

Stringer said KenyaKEEP has even provided money for a student to go to college.

"Mercy had been writing to me for two years asking me for help to go to college," Stringer said. "Finally, we found a way to get enough supporters, and she is now at a private Christian university. She will graduate in December with her major being community development. Her plan is to go back and work in the community and to create an orphanage to house students who have been orphaned by AIDS."

Supporting education in Kenya entails a lot. KenyaKEEP also has raised money to bring clean water to schools and repair classrooms.

In the past five years, there have been two major droughts that had a tremendous impact on schools and the ability to provide clean water for students.

"A homeless person here can get a drink of clean water easier than the majority of people in Kenya," Stringer said. "People walk a great distance just to get water, and sometimes it isn't even clean. A school in Makueni had to send 400 girls home because they ran out of clean drinking water."

At that school, the Ukia School, Stringer raised enough money to get a 10,000-liter water tank.

In other parts of Kenya, Stringer works to provide water tanks and helps children learn about purifying water. With the help of the Procter & Gamble Co., he received 10,000 activity booklets that explain how to purify water. The booklets teach children how to prevent diarrhea and include a purifying sachet at the end of the book.

Providing something as simple as water helps to eliminate extra costs and distractions in the classroom, Stringer said.

KenyaKEEP also has repaired classrooms. Small changes, such as providing blackboards or reconstructing classrooms walls, produce a huge response among the children. Getting rid of these distractions helps the students focus.

One school even named a dormitory after Stringer because of his dedication.

"We were in awe to see that there was a dorm named after him," Phillips said. "Melvin is so modest. He never told us they had named a dorm after him."

Even though Stringer has seen success by sponsoring 60 students and developing multiple water tanks, he still is working to repair roofs on schools, develop water wells, construct a girl's dormitory, provide mosquito nets and collect supplies such as bunk beds, desks and lamps. This coincides with students who still need sponsorships.

Most money raised has happened through Stringer's church, St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Henderson, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter, to which his wife belongs. Through his church, Stringer was able to spark the interest of Phillips, who started as a donor and became the group's treasurer.

"It was the least I could do," Phillips said.

Stringer and Phillips continue to spread the hope via word of mouth and their Web site, kenyakeep.org.

Stringer continues to be an inspiration for people in his church, such as Phillips, and to the people of Kenya.

"He is a very humble man," Phillips said. "He is doing God's work."

 


 


Brother Timothy Wilson

Black to Life…For a Healthier You

Las Vegas Black Image Magazine

Dr. Timothy Wilson becomes state’s first black pediatric dentist

Dr. Timothy Wilson

A native of Detroit, Dr. Timothy Wilson is making history as the first African-American pediatric dentist in Nevada.

Following in the footsteps of Nevada’s first black medical doctor — fellow Detroit native Dr. James McMillan — Wilson is dedicated to making children’s smiles brighter.

“I have been here in Nevada for seven years, and was originally told about the opportunities in Las Vegas by a fellow colleague,” said Wilson. “I did some research and now I have two Star Smile dental offices, and will soon open a third office on Flamingo and Torrey Pines.”

With health care reform still a hot topic nationwide, Wilson is disappointed that dental care is not yet a major part of the discussion. “Medicine and dental care are really tied in together,” he said, “and even though the recent proposed health care bill does not include dental services, I am hopeful that there will be a forthcoming amendment that is inclusive of dental care.”

Caring for the dental needs of young people is often challenging work, particularly given the current economic climate and many patients’ lack of dental insurance. “I am very excited about establishing the Star Smiles Foundation, which will offer free dental care to patients who qualify,” said Wilson. “Dental insurance is very expensive, and a serious situation, because the lack of good dental care can lead to tooth decay that can develop into infection and result in death.”

Not only a renowned pediatric dentist, Wilson is also a humanitarian who was saddened by the recent earthquake in Haiti. “I spent time in Haiti several years ago doing a medical mission there and also in the Dominican Republic,” he said. “It was mind blowing then, witnessing the impoverished country during my mission. I served as a medical doctor, as well as assisting Haitians with their dental needs. Medicine and dentistry are all related, and if I was there in Haiti after the earthquake I would see to the people’s overall medical needs.”

As part of a group of doctors known collectively as Operation Smiles, Wilson is no stranger to reaching out to people worldwide to assist with medical and dental needs. He brings that same passion to his work in Las Vegas, saying he has mastered the delicate balance between sensitivity to children’s emotions and steadfastness in helping improve their health.

“When children first come to my office, it is our objective to make them feel comfortable,” he said. “We have big screen televisions and video games in the lobby, and for those children who are very young we offer sleep dentistry to take care of their dental needs in a safe and peaceful way.”

 

Latest News & Events

Nascar Fundraiser Event
Las Vegas Alumni Chapter participated in the Nascar Fundraiser Event on Sept 25, 2010. Because of hard work and dedication, we raised a handsome amount of money that will be used to support our scholarship fund.

National Night Out
Las Vegas Alumni Chapter and their Kappa Leadership League assisted with providing over 1,000 backpacks and school supplies to children at the Back to School Fair on August 2nd, 2011.

KAPPA is for the kids!
Las Vegas Alumni Chapter provided backpacks and school supplies to children at Booker Elementry School on August 21st, 2010.

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