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Carlton Copeland voted our 4th W.H. Gray Honoree Recipient

The Community Service Award (CSA) provides an opportunity for the community to help us select another great servant leader. Men are nominated by the community to receive a W.H. Gray Community Service award. The 900 Men Strong review the applications and select those who fit the criteria listed below. The individuals are posted to our site where the community votes to help us select one of our W.H. Gray Community Service Awards. Only one can be chosen among those nominated, but all are honorable men and greatly appreciaed for the work they do and the impact they have made in the Hampton Roads community.

2019 Honorees

CSA Criteria 

The W.H. Gray Community Service award honoree is an individual committed to reaching out and helping others unselfishly through community service. This individual is a problem solver. Through their efforts, relationships, and grassroots programs, the nominee positively influences those with whom they come into contact as they engage in building a better community.


W.H. Gray Honorees are recognized based on several attributes, including:

  • Leadership

  • Grassroots efforts

  • Notable positive impacts on individuals and organizations

  • Making a difference in the lives of others

  • Volunteer activities

Nominations will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • Promote a positive image, exemplify community service and demonstrate values of giving back

  • Evidence of creative or involvement in programs that have impacted our community.

  • Evidence of contributions to the lives of others.

  • Demonstrated support of community service to assist others in Faith Based Initiatives, Education, Finance, Health or Government or Employment.


Carlton Copeland - Community Choice

Youth Advocate and Founder of West Virginia Blacktop Style AAU Basketball Program

Mr. Carlton Copeland is a native of Portsmouth, Virginia, a graduate of Manor High School and a youth advocate.  Carlton worked for Costco Wholesale for over 26 years, starting as a front-end cashier and working his way up the corporate ladder to Warehouse Assistant General Manager. 

In 2014, while employed with the West Virginia Costco, Carlton started and founded an AAU program entitled “West Virginia Blacktop Style Basketball”.  After transferring back to Virginia, his passion to work with youth became stronger and two years ago, Carlton decided to leave Costco on a leap of faith to fully concentrate on his passion.   

Carlton has not only worked with the youth through his “Blacktop” youth programs, he has also adopted and worked closely with West Haven Elementary School in Portsmouth, Virginia where he has organized Turkey donations and back-to-school give a ways.  For the past two years, Carlton has organized a community toy drive, and has worked very closely with New Hope Baptist Church and Oasis in Portsmouth, Virginia doing pick-up food donations and distributing them to the local Cavalier Manor community.

Carlton Copeland continues to advocate for youth and provide community service without any hesitation.  He believes God has put us here to serve. Carlton is married to Millicent and a father of 8.


Robert Goodrum

President of Youth Outreach and Urban Resource Services Ministry

Robert Goodrum is a native of Annapolis, Maryland, the fourth oldest of ten children. He attended the Naval Academy from 1973-1977 and received a B.S. in Mathematics, receiving the "Midshipman of the Year Award." In addition, he has earned a Masters in Theology (M.Th) from Fuller Theological Seminary and Masters in Counseling (M.Ed) from Providence College.



In April 1983, Robert became a volunteer leader for Young Life in Newport, RI. Robert resigned his active duty commission in the Navy, and joined the Young Life staff in June 1986. In September 1998, he came to Norfolk to develop the urban ministry here for Young Life where the ministry reached all five (5) public high schools, over 500 students; while also ministering in three (3) middle schools touching over 300 students, and ministering in low-income housing developments to 150 teenagers. 


In 2005, Robert founded Y.O.U.R.S. (Youth Outreach and Urban Resource Services) Ministry, a non-profit organization that ministers to at-risk youth, providing ongoing mentorship, exposure, and support to middle school, high school, and college students in the Hampton Roads Area. It is a program that sets a standard of excellence for low-income communities.

Today, for the past fourteen (14) years, he has continued to build a growing ministry and is reaching more teenagers and communities. Robert has also extended the outreach efforts to include missions to Port Harcourt, Nigeria.



Robert participates and pushes the ministry to be involved in The VA Safety Commission March Against Gun Violence in Richmond, The Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in Richmond, and The City of Norfolk Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. He takes the initiative to divide his time between his family and his ministry, multiply limited resources, add God to the lives of many, take away the distractions that millennials face and change the status quo.


Stan Holloway

Coach and Youth Mentor

Mr. Stan Holloway, a native of Atlanta, Georgia is an alumni of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps unit of Morehouse College where he earned a political science degree.  Stan served 20 years in the US Navy as a commissioned officer primarily guiding and leading reserve personnel.  During his tenure as a naval officer, he organized shipboard operations and activities; supervised department heads; and briefed readiness and training reports to fleet commanders and senior executive personnel.


Stan initially started coaching to provide athletic support to his sons but eventually realized that coaching was his calling. In 2008, Stan founded Track 7-5-7, a nonprofit AAU Track Club that teaches the fundamentals of sprints, hurdles, and jumps to youth ages 5-18 in the Hampton Roads area.  The program has over 100 members and has produced 62 All-Americans, 33 National Champions, and numerous State Champions. Its branches have extended across the nation with over 30 student-athletes receiving athletic scholarships totaling over $250,000 to colleges and universities. He has also coached Pop Warner football with his team advancing to the Championship games for three years making it to the last round twice. In 2012, Coach Holloway accepted a position as the Assistant Girls Track Coach at Oscar Smith High School.  Since taking on the position, the OSHS girls have competed in numerous State, Regional and National meets in which they have ranked very high. 


He is a husband, father, coach, mentor and great role model in the lives of all the athletes he’s touched.  He visits his athletes when they’re ill, tutors them when their grades are not up to par, and helps financially when parents are not able. Stan resides in the City of Chesapeake with his wife LaTasha.  His sons Tre and Grant are both Track and Field standouts.


Dr. Deran Whitney

Superintendent Suffolk Public Schools

Dr. Deran Whitney is the Superintendent Suffolk Public Schools where he carries out his passion for youth daily, directly influencing the lives of K-12 Public School children. Outside of work, he continues to work with nonprofit organizations to help make a difference in the lives of youth.


Deran is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc where he serves as Director of Education. He is responsible for overseeing educational activities and reports to the chapter president and Executive Committee. His main role is to coordinate all educational activities for the chapter. He develops and publishes a report of educational programs for the fraternal year. He coordinates the scholarship program, risk management seminars, and Omega Services. Additionally, he works closely with the Pharaoh’s Council to assist with the intensified educational program during the membership intake process.


Deran is a Member of the Hampton Road’s 200+Men Inc. and Canaan Baptist Church, where he served as a Former Trustee. As a member of Team United Way (Navigator’s Society) in the Hampton Roads area, Deran is instrumental in bringing people and organizations together to solve problems too big for any person or organization to solve on their own. Team United Way combine thousands of monetary gifts – big and small – to make good things happen in South Hampton Roads.


In addition, Deran has served on the Education Committee for Suffolk Rotary Internal. As a Suffolk Foundation Board member, he helps facilitate and develop philanthropy which will allow charitable grant making to benefit the citizens in the City of Suffolk and the surrounding area. The Suffolk Foundation’s mission is to assist individuals, corporations, organizations, and other foundations in meeting their charitable goals. He is a member of the Healthy Suffolk Coalition, a collection of policy makers and community leaders who work together to advance the wellness and livability of all Suffolk Residents.

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