Parents Share ‘Recipe For Success’ In Raising Collegiate Sons, High Achieving Daughter


John C. Dove Jr. and his wife Rhonda Caldwell Dove of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, are proud to share their recipe to success while raising three black boys to the ranks of successful, young college men. The Dove family resides in the Baltimore bedroom community of Gambrills.

Oldest son, Julian Dove, 22, is a recent Penn State graduate, majoring in cyber security and information science technology; Jordan Dove, 20, is a junior soccer player at University Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), studying finance and information science technology. Youngest son, Jared Dove, 18, graduated this year from Severn High School and is currently a first-year basic cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is also on the Academy’s soccer team.

Youngest child, Riley Dove, 12, is the “baby sister” in the family and like her older siblings she is also an academic high-achiever. She is currently a 7th grader at Annapolis Area Christian School.

From left: Father, John C. Dove Jr., Riley Dove, Julian Dove, Jordan Dove, Jared Dove and mother, Rhonda Caldwell Dove.

Courtesy Photo

From left: Father, John C. Dove Jr., Riley Dove, Julian Dove, Jordan Dove, Jared Dove and mother, Rhonda Caldwell Dove.

In preparing for her sons’ achievement, Mrs. Dove says acknowledgement of family legacy and staying spiritually grounded, has developed a familial competitive aura of high-esteem amongst her young men.

“Kids tend to model what they see and what they hear,” said Mrs. Dove, adding that she and her husband of 27 years, John C. Dove Jr., “have always shared stories with our kids about our experiences in school and college— our mistakes, what we learned from those mistakes and our successes. I stress to my kids how their grandmother, Patricia B. Caldwell had to endure as a new teacher when schools were first integrated in Anne Arundel County; how she was bused to high school, attended Bowie Normal School (for blacks) because at the time she was not allowed to attend any college of her choice; and how her brothers and sisters sacrificed and provided her with financial means to attend and complete college.

“I’ve told them about the importance of their education, and never take it for granted, and to remember their grandmother’s journey and how she and others paved the way for them to have an equal education despite their ethnic race. I told them that they were just a generation from the out-house.”

Mrs. Dove attended Anne Arundel Community College and Towson University and was a committed stay-at-home mom, until recently. She currently works as an office manager for Infant and Child Loss for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

The Doves stress the importance of a two-parent home and faith-based environment.

“We believe that having a strong father figure for both boys and girls makes a significant difference in how they deal with issues during their childhood,” said Mr. Dove, a graduate of both the U.S. Naval Academy and the Sellinger School of Business and Management at Baltimore’s Loyola University, Maryland. “I believe my children have always watched how I deal with everything that comes along in life— from handling pressures during work life, to tragedies such as death in our extended family. How I’ve been able to handle life provides a powerful message for our boys to reflect on when it comes to handling and reacting to their own issues.”

The ex-Marine currently works as a district medical sales manager for Minnesota-based Medtronic Corporation.

Reverend Herbert Watson, the pastor at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Hanover, Md. has nothing but appreciative words for the Dove family who are longtime parishioners.

“It has been one of my great blessings as pastor of St. Mark for 20 years to have John and Rhonda Caldwell Dove and their family, as members. Their oldest son Julian was the first child I baptized upon my new appointment,” he said.

“On that same Sunday, John became a member of St. Mark. They and their family continue to be good and faithful members of our congregation,” Pastor Watson continued. “And, it’s obvious they have raised their children on a foundation of faith, family and friends.”

In addition to her mother, Mrs. Dove also credits her father George Caldwell for laying a solid foundation for his grandchildren to emulate.

“I’m very proud of our grandchildren and of the committed work of my daughter and son-in-law,” said Mr. Caldwell, 81, and a retiree of General Motors Baltimore division. His wife is a retired Anne Arundel County schoolteacher.

Mr. Dove’s parents have also been influential on their grandchildren. John C. Dove Sr. is a retired U.S. Army Warrant Officer and his wife, Barbara Dove, is a retired nurse. The older Doves live in Huntsville, Alabama.