Cardell Patillo

Cardell Patillo, winner of the 2018 Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award, is the prime example of someone who gives back to the community that raised him. Patillo, who serves on the schoolboard in the community of Portsmouth, Virginia where he grew up, knows that one key to student success is having the support of a mentor.

“The environment in which you're raised only describes your present situation, but access to a great and meaningful public education unlocks the doors to the entire world,” said Patillo.

For over 10 years this difference maker, who is also a pastor at a local church and the executive director of a program that prepares children and their families for lifelong learning, has made it his mission to provide educational and enrichment programs to the students of Portsmouth. From creating “Budget Tours” that discuss school budgeting needs to a mentoring program that has lowered suspension rates and has helped over 900 young men develop leadership skills, Patillo is a leader who advocates for the social and academic welfare of students.

Read more on Patillo in the October 2018 issue of ASBJ at