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English professor awarded college’s MLK service award

Annette Mewborn is passionate about bringing people together and serving the community. She is the recipient of TCC’s 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award, which will be presented during a virtual ceremony on Feb. 25.

“I’m overwhelmed by this award and know that my service to the community stems from a passion my mother had to serve those in need. She inspired me and my sister to get involved in the community and we’ve been helping ever since.”

The English professor, who began working at the Virginia Beach Campus admissions office, joined the college in 1989.

For close to a decade, Mewborn organized Black History Month events on the Virginia Beach Campus to celebrate African American history and culture. The events included programs like “From the Root of It,” a look at hairstyles through the ages, as well as a historical review of “Motown Music.”

Annette Mewborn is TCC's MLK service award winner.

Her long list of accomplishments includes starting a tutoring center for children at Rehoboth Baptist Church. She set up the center and recruited volunteers to teach English, writing, music and Spanish.

Mewborn was the advisor and mentor for the Student African American Brotherhood. She also produced an African American newsletter, Changes, to encourage students to publish their poetry, essays and articles.

Pre-pandemic, Mewborn presented 12 holiday concerts at TCC with Echoes of Excellence, a group of students with a love for music. Together they packed the Pungo Auditorium year after year. She also established High Class, an educational band that writes and performs songs for youth at community events.

Most recently, Mewborn organized a toy drive and holiday concert for abused children through her work with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). The outdoor event was held in Mewborn’s own backyard.

And during the pandemic, she started The Novel Kids, a reading program for children to keep them engaged and learning in the summer months.

Mewborn is the recipient of a Teaching in Excellence award for 2021.

She encourages her TCC students to focus on the positive with the “good news” section in her online classes. And while she never planned to teach, she found her calling while a student at the college. She now holds a master’s degree in English and loves to see those light bulb moments, when students grasp the concepts she is teaching.

“I believe in peace and unity, and the tenets Dr. King held dear,” Mewborn said. “If you look at some of his most influential quotes, you see one word that mirrors the Bible and that is love. That’s how I strive to live my life. By loving my neighbor, wherever I am.”

Mewborn is married to Larry Mewborn, Sr., and has two children, Larry Mewborn, Jr. and Katisa Mewborn-Smith. The couple has four grandchildren.