April 24, 2023
AHC’s Resident Services programs are the backbone of our organization. We are grateful for the generous volunteers who help make a real difference to residents where they live.
This Volunteer Appreciation Month, AHC is celebrating the 1,500-plus individuals and groups who generously contributed over 6,900 hours of their time throughout our education and social services programs in 2022. Thank you to Good Company Donuts, Simona Café, Fire Works Pizza, two local potters, Jessica Kaplan, Jennifer Toma, and the residents at the Serrano for donating raffle prizes to our amazing volunteers.
“AHC is fortunate to have over 300 volunteers supporting our year-round education and food distribution programs,” said Laura Jackson, AHC’s volunteer coordinator. “Thanks to them, students are learning and growing, seniors and families are getting food and other assistance, and our communities are thriving.”
Many of AHC’s volunteers connect directly with youth through our multi-tiered education program. Last year AHC added 199 new volunteers to help expand the reach of our services across the region. These dedicated volunteers are helping build students’ literacy and math skills in our afterschool and teen programs.
Volunteers also provide invaluable helping hands during community activities, from supporting food distributions to participating in community clean-up projects.
Collectively Crafting Change
Volunteers’ efforts are making a true impact. Volunteers also partner with high school juniors and seniors to help them navigate the journey to college or other career paths. Our College & Career Readiness program boasted its largest graduating class in 2022, with 42 students earning more than $6.5 Million in scholarships and receiving more than 175 college acceptances.
At the property level, nearly 1,000 households received food assistance from AHC Inc. Volunteers are a huge part of the food distribution programs’ success. Thanks to families, corporate groups, scout troops, and students, our residents received over 10,000 snack bags last year.
Special Thank You for Long-Time Volunteers
AHC is fortunate to have reoccurring volunteers who commit their time year after year. Their ongoing service provides consistency and meaningful relationships that help build trust with students. We are deeply grateful for the volunteers’ dedication and commitment.
In 2023, we are honoring nine amazing volunteers who have reached the five- or 10-year milestone. Special thanks to Prescott Burden (5 years), Tara Claeys (5 years), Maureen Kenney (5 years), Jeanne Sweeney (5 years), Adrienne Wichard-Edds (5 years), Lauren Bahls (5 years), Christy Robinson (10 years), Jean Falvey (10 years), and Kathy Desmond (10 years).
Also, in Baltimore, we are highlighting seven long time volunteers who have consistently shown up for residents in the Greater Baltimore area. Kudos to Annette Abrams (11 years), Willie Hanna (7 years), Calvin Warren (8 years), Louis Woolridge (11 years), Gregory Pendleton (10 years), Nathanial Jones (9 years), and Willie Warren (12 years).
Different Paths, Aligned Visions
This year’s five- and 10-year volunteers come from various backgrounds and bring many skills that benefit the students. For some, their careers and life experience perfectly align with their volunteer work. Maureen Kenney, a five-year mentor, is a retired adult education teacher specializing in developing online education courses. She says, “I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. I wish I had a program like this at that point in my life.”
Others are learning just as much from experience as the students. five-year volunteer Tara Claeys passionately exclaimed, “This experience opened my eyes to opportunities to be a better citizen and introduced me to various opportunities to support the youth in our community.” As a mother of two adults fortunate to attend college and embark on careers, she is honored to be a part of an organization that helps youth achieve their goals.
Some volunteers are relatively new to the area and are excited to support students during their educational journey. Five-year volunteer Prescott Burden works in cybersecurity and is proud of the growth of the Fort Henry resident he tutors. Although some homework can be challenging, he is proud when they figure out the problems together to understand the material better.
Kathy Desmond has been a teen tutor for more than 10 years. She has found joy in the small victories the students achieve. “The real satisfaction is knowing that the kids who stick with the program are all accepted into college. Most are the first in their families to attend, and each tutor contributes to that incredible accomplishment,” says Kathy.
Each volunteer is invested in the success of each AHC student. No matter how they connect with us, they always remember the experience.
Jean Falvey, a 10-year volunteer, is a fundraising consultant who enjoys watching students grow into thriving young adults. Her most memorable moment was mentoring a high school student during her junior and senior years in the CCR program. The student attended James Madison University on a full-ride scholarship and eventually graduated a semester early with a job lined up in pediatric surgical nursing.
Five-year volunteer Adrienne Wichard-Edds expressed, “I’m grateful to my friend Jennifer Endo, who knew I’d be a good match for the CCR program, and to the current CCR team for ensuring each student feels welcome, supported, and important.
About AHC Inc
AHC Inc., a nonprofit developer based in Arlington, VA, builds and preserves affordable and mixed-income housing in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. Since 1975, AHC has developed more than 8,200 apartments in the mid-Atlantic region, including 3,400 in Arlington. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches thousands of children, teens, adults, and seniors each year through onsite education and social service programs and activities. For more information, visit www.ahcinc.org.
Media Contact: Jennifer K. Smith, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org/ 703-486‑0626 x1118