top of page

Award-Winning Staff & Students

August 17, 2023

Changing the Game through Education

The Virginia Housing Alliance awarded Milenka Coronel Samey, Assistant Director of Resident Services at AHC, a Game Changer Award at the 2023 Annual Awards Luncheon. The award recognizes innovators in the affordable housing space. Milenka’s incredible work creating and curating AHC’s College and Career Readiness (CCR) program earned her the accolade.

CCR helps prepare high school juniors and seniors for their next steps and pairs them with mentors to help them navigate the end of high school. Milenka’s innovative program has made a difference in the lives of more than 200 students since its inception in 2016. At the 2023 graduation ceremony, AHC honored the 37 graduates of the program and praised the record-breaking $13.3 million in aid and scholarships offered to them from the colleges where they were accepted.

“Because of Milenka and her influence on the CCR program, every kid knows that they have someone who believes in them­—something that they'll take with them to college and beyond,” one long-term mentor said.

AHC extends a huge congratulations to Milenka!

AHC's Extraordinary Teen

Arlington Magazine awarded Ribka Desta, AHC College and Career Readiness (CCR) program alum and Afterschool program volunteer, an Extraordinary Teen Award! Her passion for poetry, education, and volunteering made her an excellent candidate for the award.

Ribka is the 2023 Youth Poet Laureate for Arlington County. Her work explores her love of writing, identity, and relationships. Listen to her recite her poem “Writing for my mother” in a video from Words Beats & Life, a hip-hop arts educational nonprofit.

AHC is central to Ribka’s story. She grew up as a resident of an AHC community and became involved with its educational programs. At the CCR college signing ceremony, she shared a speech about her involvement with AHC.

“AHC has been a blanket, home, and lifeline for me,” she said. “When I mentor and tutor with the Afterschool program elementary students, it seems they have been teaching me one strong lesson right back—that AHC and community are intertwined.”

In the fall, Ribka will attend Stanford University on a full-ride QuestBridge scholarship. Read more about her extraordinary achievement on Arlington Magazine’s website.


bottom of page