Jacob’s Ladder Recognized at Sisterhood Event

On Sept. 12, Jacob’s Ladder Inc. was recognized at a sisterhood event presented by the First Lady of Virginia, Suzanne Youngkin.

Jacob’s Ladder Board Member Laura Domalik; First Lady Suzanne Youngkin; Jacob’s Ladder Executive Director Catherine Coggeshall; Steffani McGurn

Jacob’s Ladder was one of only 16 nonprofit organizations to be recognized by First Lady Suzanne Youngkin at the event, which highlighted nonprofit organizations from across Virginia that have been deemed to do exceptional work for our state, in particular, exceptional work with Virginia children.

Catherine Coggeshall, executive director for Jacob’s Ladder, represented the local nonprofit at the event. Coggeshall was able to share information about Jacob’s Ladder with more than 200 attending the event and making connections with other nonprofits in the area. She is entering her third year serving Jacob’s Ladder, an enrichment program for intellectually gifted and socially and economically underserved youth in Virginia, headquartered in Urbanna, since 1991.

Jacob’s Ladder was begun by W. Aubrey Hall, recently recognized as the 2023 Grand Marshal of the Urbanna Oyster Festival. Hall was inspired to start Jacob’s Ladder to provide gifted, underserved students the opportunity to reach their full potential as well as provide the support they need to excel year-round following a summer mission trip to the Eastern Shore in the 1980s. His inspiration came from working with the children of migrant farm workers and recognizing that bright, disadvantaged students were often overlooked by traditional gifted programs. Hall began Jacob’s Ladder along with the help of his wife, Margie Hall, keeping the program small enough initially to foster close relationships amongst everyone in the program.

In addition to being recognized by First Lady Suzanne Youngkin, Jacob’s Ladder and its patrons recently enjoyed the 14th annual Oyster Tasting at Merroir Tasting Room in Topping, where they raised funds to support the program. Learn how you can be a part of our efforts to help Jacob’s Ladder.



Sophie Scott, Development, development@jladder.org

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