Hanh Nguyen Wins Volunteer Arlington’s Lifetime of Service Award

Thirty-year AHC Inc. veteran Hanh Nguyen has dedicated her life to helping others. Over the course of the past four decades, Hanh has left an indelible impact on AHC, the people she worked with, and the many residents who continue to benefit from her generous spirit.

On July 14, Volunteer Arlington honored Hanh’s long-time volunteerism by awarding her the 2020 Volunteer Arlington Lifetime of Service Award during the organization’s annual Arlington Cares event. The award recognizes and celebrates an individual for whom volunteerism and service to others is a part of the fabric of their being. Whether through their organized volunteer work or through their pattern of consistently thinking of and acting on others’ needs before their own, this person’s life is an example of a life lived for their community.

“I wanted to volunteer in the community after retirement because I wanted to give back as a way to show my appreciation to the United States – my second home – and to all the Americans who accepted me and allowed me to have the freedom to live, to work, and be happy,” said Hanh during the virtual award ceremony.

Hanh was a committed volunteer during her 30-year career in AHC’s accounting department. She cooked meals for residents and volunteered at her Buddhist temple to help with day and funeral services as well as weekend retreats. She also found time in her schedule to help distribute home cooked meals to the homeless in Washington, D.C.

Ten years after retiring, Hanh continues to be a steadfast volunteer. Twice a week, she helps distribute food to AHC residents through our partnership with the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). She always goes above and beyond the basic volunteer duties.

“Hanh always has a smile for residents coming to pick up food. She takes the time to form connections with other volunteers and staff and often brings homemade food to share,” says Jennifer Endo, AHC’s Vice President of Community Relations. “She not only provides nurturing food for residents and families; Hanh nurtures their overall well-being and sense of dignity.”

Hanh’s co-workers remember her as a warm, generous, and much-loved colleague. “I’ve known Hanh for decades and she is truly an inspiration,” says Stephen Smith, AHC’s Executive Vice President. “She is one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, and I am grateful for the many ways she has enhanced the lives of countless AHC residents, staff members, and others in the community.”

Congratulations to Hanh Nguyen for receiving the 2020 Volunteer Arlington Lifetime of Service Award!

About AHC Inc.

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 7,500 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. For more information, visit www.ahcinc.org

AHC Stands Against Racial Injustice

To AHC friends and supporters,

The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are deeply horrific – and are only the most recent atrocities in our nation’s long history of systemic racism.

These deaths, along with the disproportionate pain of the pandemic on people of color, shine a bright light on the impact of racial disparity.

As an organization dedicated to providing affordable and stable homes for people in need, AHC Inc. does not tolerate racial injustice. We believe housing equity is critical in addressing longstanding structural racism and the equality gap in our country. Everyone deserves a safe, affordable place to call home.

We also understand we have a lot more work to do. This is a moment to not only reflect on our values, but to put them into action.

AHC is committed to standing up against racism in all its forms and listening to and supporting our colleagues, neighbors, residents, and partners.

We will hold ourselves accountable to ensure racial equity is embedded in our programs, operations, and corporate culture. We will intensify our efforts to ensure that all people have equal access to stable and affordable housing. And, we will help amplify our residents’ voices by promoting the importance of voting and participating in the census.

Building racial equity is a journey. We are determined to move forward and take action alongside our communities, partners, residents, and staff members to create real change.

Sincerely,

Walter D. Webdale
President & CEO

AHC Celebrates Volunteer Appreciation Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AHC Celebrates 400 Volunteers Who Donated 6,000 Hours To Children and Families This Year, including 23 Dedicated Five- and Ten-Year Volunteers 

Contact:
Celia Slater, Communications Director, AHC Inc., 571-228-5948 or celia.slater@ahcinc.org

As a nonprofit community organization, AHC Inc. is immensely grateful for the hundreds of volunteers who contribute to the success of our residents and programs. During Volunteer Appreciation Month, we celebrate 400 volunteers who provided more than 6,000 hours this year to AHC’s education and social services programs in our affordable apartment communities. That includes 23 dedicated individuals who have volunteered for more than five years and 68 volunteers from 20+ different businesses and groups.

“Our volunteers are special, generous individuals who are critical to the success of the students, families and senior citizens we serve,” said Laura Jackson, AHC’s Volunteer Coordinator. “From tutoring teens and helping students get into college to delivering backpacks and helping at our annual Thanksgiving feasts, we couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers’ commitment.”

Many children start AHC’s education programs in elementary school and continue through 12th grade. The multi-year program’s consistency and stability help level the playing field. “Education can transcend so many barriers, so I want to be a part of that, even if in a small way,” said Bernie Piper, who has worked with AHC students for more than 10 years. “An ability and desire to learn are the keys to our success both as individuals and a society.”

Thanks to dedicated volunteers and staff, AHC’s students are beating the odds and building stronger futures.  For more than 10 years, 100% of the students in AHC’s program have graduated from high school and most have gone on to college – often the first in their families to achieve that milestone.

AHC’s volunteers also provide safe spaces and a sense of family that lasts for years. Many volunteers work with the same student year after year and celebrate their achievements as they grow and change. “Working with the kids is the best,” said Terron Sims, who has volunteered with AHC students for 14 years. “Assisting them with their homework and helping to build their self-esteem and confidence is a great joy.” The long-time relationships build a sense of community for both students and volunteers. “Since I’ve been at Harvey Hall since 2006, I feel as though I am part of that community because I am at a point where I have tutored the older siblings and a parent of some of my current kids.”

Celebrating Five and Ten-Year Volunteers

Creating personal connections and making a difference are key to many volunteers’ long-time commitment. “When kids graduate and are happy about their own accomplishments and achievements, which they didn’t see coming, that makes me feel our time together was a great investment,” said Marjorie Macieira, a five-year volunteer who still keeps touch with one of her students who is now in her junior year of college.

Emily Lorenz, who has also volunteered for five years, is also enjoying the personal connection she has developed working with the same student for two years. Although volunteering weekly seemed like a big commitment, she has found that “it fills her up more than it takes away.”  “I look forward to coming each week and adore the student I’m working with,” said Lorenz.

This year we celebrate 23 wonderful individuals who have volunteered with AHC for more than five years, including seven who have participated for 10 years or more. We are grateful for their dedication and immeasurable contributions to our residents’ success.

Ten-year Volunteers

Jim Burridge, Terry Burridge, Santosh Chokhani, Hanh Nguyen, Bernie Piper, Alison Sheahan, and Terron Sims

Five-year Volunteers

Kate Athing and the Marymount Women’s Lacrosse Team, Tim Bellaire, Lisa Blake, Anne Blacksten, Charles Cope, Adrienne Eng, Greg Frey, Coral Harris, Evan Heit, Emily Lorenz, Marjorie Macieira, Ty Mitchell, Laura Noble, and Maria Woolverton.

Visit AHC’s Instagram at @AHC_Inc for individual portraits of many of our long-time volunteers.

To learn more about volunteering with AHC, please email volunteer@ahcinc.org or visit https://www.ahcinc.org/get-involved/volunteers/.

About AHC Inc.

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 7,500 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. For more information, visit www.ahcinc.org

Overcoming the Odds: Rosie Riveters Works With Amazon and AHC Inc to Deliver At-Home STEM Learning Kits to Children in Need

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Overcoming the Odds: Rosie Riveters Works With Amazon and AHC Inc to Deliver At-Home STEM Learning Kits to Children in Need

Contact:
Celia Slater, Communications Director, AHC Inc., 571-228-5948 or celia.slater@ahcinc.org
Brittany Greer, Executive Director and Founder, Rosie Riveters, 703-364-9389 or Brittany.Greer@RosieRiveters.com

Rosie Riveters, a nonprofit dedicated to engaging and inspiring girls ages 4 to 14 in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), is working with Amazon and local affordable housing non-profit AHC Inc to deliver curated STEM kits for girls to participate in hands-on STEM learning from home. Each Rosie Riveters’ STEM kit includes the materials to complete six different hands-on STEM projects; access to online lessons to support each project as well as additional learning materials and resources like notebooks, rulers, pencils, markers, glue and tape. Amazon donated gift cards and supplies for Rosie Riveters to assemble the STEM kits and helped safely deliver the kits to an AHC Inc facility.

Rosie Riveters is proud to work with Amazon and AHC Inc to bring fun and engaging STEM kits and essential learning materials to children in need.” says Brittany Greer, Executive Director of Rosie Riveters. “Now more than ever enrichment opportunities like these are vitally important. We can not thank Amazon enough for helping to provide the resources and logistics needed to allow Rosie Riveters to continue our mission to engage and inspire girls aged 4-14 in STEM.”

With physical schools closed, the importance of structured yet independent learning opportunities are more important than ever. Rosie Riveters strives as an organization to ensure that its STEM programs are not only available but accessible to the community and these times are no exception.

AHC Inc. is grateful to work with Rosie Riveters and Amazon to provide hands-on learning opportunities for children in our affordable apartment communities. With schools closed and our afterschool programs limited to virtual interactions, it’s more important than ever to keep students engaged,” said Susan Davidson, AHC’s Resident Services Director. “The Rosie Riveters’ at-home kits are a wonderful way for children to explore new ideas and stay excited about learning, particularly in the critical science and technology fields.”

Amazon is donating thousands of high-need items to ten nonprofits in the Washington, D.C. area, including Rosie Riveters and AHC Inc. Items include hygiene and cleaning products, shelf-stable food, school supplies and activities, and other supplies. To learn more about what Amazon is doing to support its HQ communities, you can read more here.

About AHC Inc.

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 7,500 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.

About Rosie Riveters
Rosie Riveters provides a fun space for girls ages 4­-14 to imagine, create, and play while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The organization instills a growth mindset – in STEM and beyond – by teaching girls to delete the words “I can’t” from their vocabulary and inspiring them to always be confident enough to try. Because even if they don’t get it right, they will always learn.

Founded in 2015 in Arlington, Virginia, Rosie Riveters has served more than 900 girls across Arlington and Fairfax counties via interactive STEM programs that are completely free of charge. Programs are in extremely high demand; there are 270 children on the organization’s waitlist in Arlington county alone. Given the program’s exit data, this is not a surprise: 97% of participants enjoyed attending Rosie Riveters’ programs, 86% were inspired to further explore STEM, and100% of participants’ parents would recommend the program. Currently, women only make up 28% of the science and engineering workforce in the U.S. Rosie Riveters is changing that statistic. For more information, please visit www.RosieRiveters.com.

2019 – A Year of Building Homes and Community

2019 has been a busy year as AHC continues our mission of developing affordable homes and helping communities thrive. This year, AHC Inc. was recognized as one of the top 50 affordable housing developers in the country by Affordable Housing Finance magazine. As we approach our 45th anniversary, AHC provides more than 7,500 affordable apartments at 50+ properties in Virginia, Maryland and DC.

AHC’s Resident Services programs and community partnerships also continue to grow to better meet the needs of the children, families and seniors we serve. We currently reach more than 3,000 residents each year.

AHC’s 2019 accomplishments include:

Building and Preserving Homes

  • Topped off The Apex that will welcome 256 families in Arlington in 2020.
  • Broke ground on The Spire, 113 new homes in 2021, with our partner Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Alexandria.
  • Celebrated the renovation of two older garden-style apartment communities – Colonial Village West in Arlington and Lafayette Apartments in Fairfax.
  • Started the process to upgrade our oldest property in Baltimore, Greenspring Overlook, which provides homes for 189 families.
  • Continued to work with PN Hoffman, City Partners and Paramount on large-scale Waterfront Station in Southwest DC.
  • Partnered with Housing Authority of Baltimore City and The Michaels Organization to redevelop Poe Homes, a 1940s seven-acre project in Southwest Baltimore.
  • Expanded presence in Montgomery County with acquisition of 48-unit Brookside View. The approximately $6.1 million total development cost was financed completely with private funds.

Building Community

  • Hosted a Faith and Housing Round Table that included HUD Secretary Ben Carson, other nonprofit developers and the City of Alexandria.
  • Selected to participate in Amazon’s Employee Match Campaign, which allocates up to $5 million to 20 housing and homelessness nonprofits in DC and Seattle.
  • Created a safety initiative in Arlington’s Green Valley neighborhood, which includes community partners and volunteers living in AHC’s affordable apartment communities.
  • Returned $4.9 million to Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF). The AHIF loan fund is an invaluable tool for affordable housing development.
  • Offered our annual Women’s Empowerment Conference that inspired Baltimore residents to connect and overcome obstacles.

Housing + Education = Success

  • Initiated Career Fairs for middle and high school students with a wide range of professionals. Several students have already turned the opportunity into internships and job shadowing.
  • Celebrated 15 volunteers who have worked with our students for five years!
  • Honored three Community Builder volunteers who generously volunteered their time with AHC students and helped expand our programs’ reach.
  • Graduated 24 high school students who were all the first in their family to attend college. Together, the group earned more than $600,000 in scholarships and grants.
  • Persisted in college at above average rates. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 84% of AHC students stick with college and graduate. This compares to 56% of first-generation students and 74% of students with college-educated parents!
  • Helped stabilize 231 families through eviction prevention services.
  • Distributed 1,000 backpacks to youth living at AHC properties in Arlington.

Awards and Achievements

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Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region that provides quality homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 7,500 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 programs and activities.