Arlington, VA (October 25, 2019) – AHC Inc. honored three outstanding volunteers during its annual meeting in mid-October. The Community Builder honorees are Ronn Levine, the MasterCard team, and Aisha Farooq. Each works with students in AHC’s comprehensive education program, which serves K-12 youth who live in AHC’s affordable apartment communities in Arlington, VA.
“AHC is so grateful for the hundreds of volunteers whose time and attention makes such a huge difference to our students,” said Jennifer Endo, AHC’s Vice President of Community Relations. “This year we are delighted to honor three wonderful Community Builders whose efforts are not only planting the seeds of success for our students, but also helping our programs grow.”
AHC’s 2019 Community Builders are:
Ronn Levine, recognized for his long-time work with AHC’s Afterschool Program, has been an AHC volunteer for 20 years! Not only has he been reading to our elementary students for two decades, but he has also created a whole team to provide a monthly program for our students. “When you get honored for something you enjoy, that’s as good as it gets,” said Ronn. “The program has always been on Mondays. For many that’s the worst day of the week. But, because of this program, Mondays are the best day of the week for me.”
The consistent connection is something Ronn really treasures. He enjoys building relationships with the students and helping them improve their reading skills. Over the years, he has enjoyed watching many of his students grow up. As they graduate from high school and go to college, he is thrilled and proud to have been a part of their road to success.
The MasterCard team has volunteered with AHC’s Teen Tutoring Program for more than five years. The Community Builder award honors six long-time tutors: Bruce Clarke, Chris Dieckhaus, Liz Liang, Nyk Lotocky, Jason Rubin, and Radha Sambasivan. Over the years, the number of MasterCard volunteers has more than tripled. Liz Liang credits the growth to the supportive environment at MasterCard, which encourages volunteering in the community and also that “AHC’s program is not only about academics, it’s also about building a connection.” Echos Chris Dieckhaus, “There are a lot of volunteer opportunities in the community, but most of them don’t give you an opportunity to build a relationship. At AHC, I feel like I’m making a lasting impact.”
In the last year, the MasterCard group has significantly broadened that impact. They have created field trips for our students at their office and also offered job shadowing opportunities, which opened a whole new world for many of them. One young man was thrilled to learn there was actually a job title that matched his interest in sketching products. He took home contact information and a new sense of direction.
Aisha Farooq is a long-time AHC resident who participated in AHC’s education programs as a teenager. She was the first in her family to go to college and she graduated from the University of Richmond in 2017. Her younger siblings are now now enrolled in college.
After her first full year in the workplace, Aisha wanted to give back to the program that helped her along the way by mentoring a high school senior in AHC’s College and Career Readiness Program. “AHC’s educational programs really helped me navigate through the college process and provided great support,” said Aisha. “I wanted to put my time back in to help someone else succeed.”
Photo: From left to right: AHC’s 2019 Community Builders – Aisha Farooq; MasterCard team members Bruce Clarke, Chris Dieckhaus and Liz Liang; and Ronn Levine. AHC Inc. honored the outstanding volunteers at its 2019 Annual Meeting.
Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing that provides quality homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 7,000 apartment units in 50+ properties in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 3,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through onsite education and social service programs and activities.