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AHC Students Win Essay and Art Contests

Faces of AHC

Kids

As part of AHC’s 40th Anniversary, students in our youth program were invited to participate in Essay and Artwork contests and describe how they feel about being a part of AHC communities. Elementary students were asked to create a piece of artwork with the theme “The Place I Call Home.” Middle and high school students wrote essays that described  ”How AHC’s Community Centers Affected My Life.”  The winning students were recognized at AHC’s 40th Anniversary Celebration.

“We are delighted to highlight the achievements of some amazing children and teens,” said Ginger Briggs Brown, former AHC Inc. Board member, who presented the artwork awards.  ”The youngsters who live in AHC’s communities are the heart and soul of our programs. It is their futures we are working so hard to strengthen.”

The artwork winners were: Michelle Orellana, a nine-year-old Harvey Hall resident (First Place), Angel Barrera, an 11-year-old Woodbury Park resident (Second Place) and Loren Bonilla a seven-year-old Virginia Gardens resident (Third Place).

Jennifer Endo, AHC’s Director of Resident Services, presented the awards to the teenagers who won the essay contest. “I am proud to say our Resident Services team has watched some of these amazing young adults grow up in our program, and was delighted to read how much the program has encouraged their personal growth and academic success.”

The essay winners were: Jennifer Arvalo, 12th grade, Berkeley Apartments (First Place); Sara Berhe, 7th grade, Gates of Ballston (Second Place); and Jennifer Rivera, 9th grade, Berkeley Apartments (Third Place).

Winning Essay Excerpts and Artwork. 

Photo: AHC students received awards for winning Essay and Artwork contests at AHC’s 40th Anniversary Celebration. Front row, left to right: Angel Barrera and Michelle Orellana. Back row, left to right: Jennifer Endo, Resident Services Director, AHC Inc., Jennifer Rivera; Jennifer Arevalo; Sara Berhe; and Ginger Briggs Brown, former AHC Inc. Board member.

 

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AHC Inc. Elects Five Board Members at 40th Anniversary Celebration

Faces of AHC

AHC-Board

AHC Inc. is delighted to announce the election of five Board members during the organization’s 40th Anniversary Celebration in September.

Four current members were re-elected to serve additional three-year terms and one previous member was nominated to return to the Board. The elected Board members include:

David Barsky. Mr. Barsky is a partner with Krooth and Altman LLP in Washington, DC where he specializes in FHA-insured multifamily housing and healthcare mortgage loan transactions. He received his bachelor’s and law degrees from George Washington University. A native of New Jersey, he and his wife have lived in Arlington since 1986. Mr. Barsky is the Secretary of AHC’s Board.

Jason Dalley. Mr. Dalley works in land acquisition for the national home builder NVR. He is on the finance committee of Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation and also on the Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Building Association. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he has been an Arlington resident since 2004.

C.C. Jenkins.  Mr. Jenkins, one of AHC’s long-time supporters and a previous Board member, was elected to return to the Board. He is a retired member of the U.S. Capitol Police Force. An Arlington resident since 1980, he is President of the U.S. Capitol Police Retired Officers’ Association; a Board member of the Congressional Federal Credit Union; President of Our Lady Queen of Peace Arlington Credit Union; and a Board Member of the Nauck Community Development Corporation. Mr. Jenkins is serving as the Treasurer of AHC’s Board.

Justin Oliver. Mr. Oliver is President and CEO of Oliver Properties, a real estate investment, development, and asset management company based in Virginia. He received his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, an MBA from Tulane University, and is a member of the Leadership Arlington Class of 2016. He has been an Arlington resident since 2008 and remains an active volunteer with his children’s schools and youth sports teams. Mr. Oliver is the Chair of AHC’s Board.

John Snyder. Mr. Snyder is Senior Counsel for Bechtel Global Corporation. A resident of Arlington since 1985, he is president of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) board, has held numerous community leadership positions, including President of the Douglas Park Civic Association, and has served on the Affiliate Boards of several AHC properties. Mr. Snyder is serving as the Vice Chair of AHC’s Board.

Gladis Bourdouane, a retiring Board member, was thanked for her service and commitment. A Board member since 2011, she is the Communications Coordinator for the Arlington Public Schools. She has lived in Arlington for over 30 years, and she and her husband have three children. Ms. Bourdouane is a member of the National School Public Relations Association and a 2011 graduate of Leadership Arlington.

Full list of AHC Board members.

Photo: AHC Inc. Board members attended the 40th Anniversary Celebration. Front row, from left to right: Walter D. Webdale, Justin Oliver, Jacqueline Coachman, and David Barsky. Back row, from left to right: C.C. Jenkins, John Snyder, Tom Klanderman, Robert Bushkoff, and Jason Dalley. Not pictured: Scott Ritter.

 

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Three Generations Living in Alexandria Neighborhood

Faces of AHC

Rosa-Byrd

Affordable Housing Helps Family Maintain Neighborhood Roots

Rosa Byrd has lived in Alexandria’s Lynhaven neighborhood for more than 50 years. Many of her family live nearby, including her 25-year-old granddaughter, Chanel Yancey, who recently moved into AHC’s Jackson Crossing apartment community. “I like the convenient location and it’s nice to be close to family,” says Chanel, who works for the Alexandria City Public Schools.

Chanel’s mother, Patricia Yancey, grew up in the neighborhood and attended the nearby Cora Kelly Elementary School. Today, she lives a few blocks from her mother, Rosa, and commutes to work with her daughter.  “I love that. I see her every day,” says Patricia. “If she had to live somewhere else, it would have changed the dynamics of our family.”

Rosa believes Jackson Crossing provides much-needed housing options in the neighborhood. “I have a lot of friends who have had to relocate out of Alexandria,” she says. “Their hearts are here, but they have to live outside the community because of the cost of living. This is a great way to help people stay in the city because it’s gotten so expensive. I’m grateful my granddaughter is living here. She was looking for a place where she could live on her own.”

Along with deep roots in Lynhaven, both Rosa and Patricia have served in a wide variety of local leadership roles, including the PTA, civic association and election board. “I honestly believe no matter where you live, you should be part of the community,” says Rosa. In 2012, the mother/daughter team was honored by the Senior Services of Alexandria for their legacy of service. That legacy continues through the third generation; Chanel also serves as an election official like her mother and grandmother.

Rosa’s long-time community involvement has been widely recognized. In 2013, she was named a Living Legend of Alexandria, and Alexandria News honored her as Alexandrian of the Year in 2014.

Rosa, who retired after 30 years with the Alexandria City Public School System, and her husband, Jack, who worked with the Metro Bus System for nearly 40 years, thoroughly enjoy living so close to family in Lynhaven. Together, they have six siblings who live within several blocks. Over the years, more than 20 children in the family have attended Cora Kelly School.

“My family is the crown jewel of my life,” says Byrd. “One of my blessings is that when they grew up, they wanted to come back to live in Alexandria.”

Photo: Three generations of the Byrd family live in Alexandria’s Lynhaven neighborhood. From left to right: Patricia Yancey, Rosa Byrd and Chanel Yancey. 

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Carlton Miller and Steve Smith

Faces of AHC

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35 Years in the Affordable Housing Industry

Carlton Miller and Steve Smith are AHC’s longest-serving staff members. The organization would not be the same without their talents, expertise and warmth. Both have contributed immeasurably to AHC’s growth over the years.

Steve was drawn to AHC’s mission of social justice. Fresh out of graduate school, he was AHC’s second employee. The office didn’t have a copier, computer or even a fax machine. His primary tools were a manual typewriter and a calculator. Now Senior Vice President, Steve is involved in almost all aspects of the organization. He is tremendously proud of how AHC has grown over the years. “I enjoy feeling like we are making a difference,” he says.

Carlton’s original role was to help rehab homes for low-income families. He was sold on the organization after helping an elderly woman on a fixed income repair her roof. “I realized I could come to work every day and help people,” he explains. “What more can you ask for?” Now Vice President of Construction, Carlton manages the many aspects of AHC’s construction projects. “My goal is to help the company build and renovate at a reasonable cost with the highest quality we can possibly get.”

Photo: Carlton Miller (left) and Steve Miller have both worked at AHC for more than 35 years. 

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Patti Sanner & Rosemarie Harrington/Reading Specialists

Faces of AHC

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Reading Specialists Help Struggling Readers Succeed

Patti Sanner and Rosemarie Harrington have helped dozens of children build literacy skills since they began working with AHC as part-time reading specialists nearly seven years ago. Each works one-on-one for about 30 minutes a week with children who have been identified as struggling readers.

Their dedication is one of the reasons AHC’s students are succeeding. Last year, all of the 28 students Patti and Rosemarie worked with improved at least a year’s worth of progress in their reading ability. Six struggling readers advanced more than a year. “If we catch the children at a young age, we can help them catch up,” explains Rosemarie. “It’s a joy to help them get over hurdles and to figure out how each child connects to reading.”

Patti believes the program’s team approach also contributes to children’s success. “It takes a village,” she says. “Everyone contributes to making learning more accessible and positive, from the managers to the volunteers. And because we work with different siblings over time, we are part of the families, too.”

Photo: Rosemarie Harrington (left) and Patti Sanner help bring the joy of reading to struggling readers.