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Students Announce College Choices on AHC’s Signing Day

June 19, 2022

Students in AHC Inc.’s College and Career Readiness (CCR) program on May 6 gathered for college signing day – where they announced their college plans and donned new t-shirts for their chosen colleges.

This year, the CCR program included 42 high school seniors from lower income homes. And these remarkable students earned more than $6.5 Million in scholarships and grants. Most of the students are the first generation in their family to reach this educational milestone.

Since its official launch in 2016, CCR has served 169 students. Tutors and mentors, key players in the program, also joined the celebration of achievement.

For CCR Manager Gabriela Segovia, it was also a special day. “This is the first class of seniors I have supported from beginning to end,” she commented. “You are all standing here, because 30 years ago, AHC made a commitment to its residents by providing them with services to help them succeed, and what better way to do this than to increase access to education.”

About Some of the Students

Joel Escobar is attending the University of Rochester this fall. Joel is a Posse Scholar and received a full ride to the University of Rochester. He is planning to study Education Policy, and his goal is to become a teacher. Ultimately, Joel hopes to take his teaching experience to work for the school board and apply his expertise to enact change. Joel also hopes to inspire his little brother in middle school. “I want to share my experience with my family. I’m excited to be the first person in our family to go to college, but I don’t want to be the only one.”

Alishaba Hayat, a Yorktown High School student, is planning to study engineering at the University of Virginia in the coming year. She joined the CCR program the summer before her junior year. “I didn’t know anything about FAFSA or applying to college. The program gave me insight into the whole process, a year in advance, so when it came to apply, I was ready,” said Alishaba.

Sara Abraha has lived nearly all her life in Arlington and is heading across the country to attend Pomona in the fall, majoring in sociology. Throughout high school, she’s been active with Key Club and Mentor Connect, and Generation Ratify, a youth-led group that advocates for ratifying the equal rights amendment. “I want to use what I learn to help others – especially people in marginalized communities,” says Sara. Her older sister was also in CCR. “[CCR] helped me navigate some of the confusing areas of applying for schools and looked out for opportunities regarding my interests. They had workshops on things like FAFSA that were really helpful,” says Sara.”

Karen Cifuentes attends Washington Liberty High School and received a full ride to attend Carnegie Mellon University this fall. She’s planning a career in the tech field, and her dream is to represent Latina women in STEM and inspire other young Latina women. “I am majoring in information systems and am excited to focus on my passion. Karen joined CCR early in her junior year. “As a first-gen student, I didn’t have my parents to rely on, so I had to look for outside resources, and CCR made it easy to find those resources.”

About the College and Career Readiness Program

CCR provides students living in AHC’s affordable apartment communities with the tools and support to successfully graduate from high school and go to college or develop a career path. High school juniors and seniors work one-on-one with a mentor who helps them navigate the challenges of applying for financial support, scholarships, and identifying educational and career options.

Where They’re Headed This Fall

  • Virginia Commonwealth Univ.

  • George Mason Univ.

  • Univ. of Virginia

  • Northern Virginia Community College

  • U.S. Marines

  • Notre Dame

  • Univ. of Rochester

  • Marymount Univ.

  • Carnegie Mellon Univ.

  • James Madison Univ.

  • Virginia Tech

  • Pomona College

  • Yale Univ.

  • Gap Year

Interested in Mentoring or Tutoring?

Contact Laura Jackson at


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.

Media Contact: Jennifer K. Smith, Director of Communications, 703-486‑0626 x1118


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