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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.

AHC Greater Baltimore Health & Wellness Program Wins Innovation Award

(November 2019 – Baltimore, MD) AHC Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing developer based in Arlington, VA, is proud to announce that its subsidiary AHC Greater Baltimore has won the Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition’s 2019 Innovation Award for its Health & Wellness Program at MonteVerde Apartments.

MonteVerde Apartments provides 300+ apartments for senior citizens. The Resident Services team created a comprehensive on-site network to help elderly residents improve access to health care services and decrease social isolation.

Increasing accessibility and providing a variety of recreational and educational activities has significantly improved health outcomes and the overall quality of life for residents.

Positive outcomes include:

  • In a recent survey of 18 residents who regularly saw the nurse practitioner, 15 or 83% reported their health improved. This included a reduction in emergency room visits.
  • Through the regular cancer screenings, 4 residents in the past 5 years have received an early detection and diagnosis of cancer that enabled early, life-saving treatment.
  • The Medicare Insurance Navigator helped 32 residents better understand insurance options and select appropriate plans.
  • 122 residents have participated in the healthy food discussions and cooking classes.
  • 62 residents have participated in fitness classes designed specifically for seniors.
  • 132 residents participate in the Maryland Food Bank program.

Pictured above: Nichole Doye Battle (left), who serves on both the AHC Greater Baltimore Board of Directors and the MAHC Board, presented the Innovation Award to AHC Greater Baltimore’s Resident Services Assistant Director Tiffany Smith (center) and AHC Greater Baltimore Director Mary Claire Davis.

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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.

AHC Greater Baltimore opened in 2004 to address the need for more affordable housing in the Baltimore region. Since then, AHC Greater Baltimore has developed eight properties with more than 1,200 affordable apartments. AHC Greater Baltimore is a subsidiary of AHC Inc. 

 

Local Professionals Share Job and Education Experience with AHC Teens

AHC’s Fall Career Fair was loud, fast-paced and really interactive – the perfect recipe for a successful learning experience. More than 30 teens “speed networked” with professionals from a wide variety of fields – journalism, health and fitness, finance, accounting, government, education, engineering, FBI, fire department, and immigration law – and learned about their education experience and career path.

“We spoke to high school junior, senior and college students in the program about our own career paths, what skills are needed for certain careers and the how-tos of succeeding at a job. We received thoughtful questions and it was fun to hear the students’ plans for their future,” said Betsy Sharon of Chain Bridge Bank. After the Career Fair, two students reached out to Sharon about informational interviews.  She was able to set them up to talk with someone at the Bank about possible careers in investing and the stock market.

“The opportunity to meet and connect with different professionals is an invaluable experience for our students,”  said Milenka Coronel, Senior College and Career Readiness Manager. “Several of our teens have already set up informational interviews, job shadowing opportunities and internships after talking with some of the volunteers.”

Students, who ranged from 10th grade to college freshmen, also found it helpful to hear that career paths often evolve over time and it’s okay not to know exactly what they want to do right now.

Bernie Piper, who works with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, echoed the idea that career exploration is a journey. “What was most important to me was to convey that evolving career goals is a lifelong experience. This journey requires discovering your talents and passions, but at the same time, embracing a sober understanding of job markets.”

Huge shout out to our speakers for inspiring our students! Thank you to Austin Achenbach (Harkins Builders), Tim Bellaire (retired FBI), Natalie Brandmueller (EYP Architecture and Engineering), Orlando James (Orlando James Fitness LLC), Megan Mack (Vera Institute of Justice), Monique O’Grady (Arlington County School Board), Greg Pearson (Harkins Builders), Bernie Piper (Federal Housing Finance Agency), Catherine Sadaat (Aronson LLC), Betsy Sharon (Chain Bridge Bank), Terron Sims (Warrior Centric Healthcare Foundation), Tannia Talento (Arlington County School Board), Justin Tirelli (Arlington County Fire Department), and Debbie Truong (Washington Post).

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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.

 

Extinguishing Eviction

The United States is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. No state has an adequate supply of affordable rental housing for the lowest income renters. To afford a basic two-bedroom apartment in the U.S., renters need to earn an average of $20.30 per hour. With minimum wage just $7.25 per hour, a renter would need to work 112 hours per week to afford a modest two-bedroom rental. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that evictions are frequently happening across the country. In fact, sociologist Matthew Desmond estimates that 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016 — a rate of four every minute.

AHC Inc. seeks to build, preserve and provide high-quality affordable housing to lower income families and individuals and provides housing for more than 18,000 families and individuals in the mid-Atlantic region. Twenty-five of those communities are just outside the nation’s capital in Arlington, Virginia, a county with some of the highest cost of living in the nation.

In 2017, AHC joined forces with Citi Community Development, a founding corporate supporter, and with NeighborWorks America, a nationwide organization dedicated to affordable housing and community development, to develop an eviction prevention program for residents of AHC’s affordable housing communities.

Through the program, on-site staff members provide intensive case management to prevent eviction and enhance financial stability. This includes financial coaching that introduces residents to credit building as well as online financial tools such as automated payments. In addition, AHC helps connect residents with workforce training to help residents secure better paying jobs. Staff members are culturally competent and trained financial coaches—essential ingredients when working with the diverse populations who live in the area.

“It is essential to find ways to help ensure that even the most financially vulnerable individuals have access to stable housing,” said Robert Burns, Citi Community Development. “This vital program helps keep people in their homes, which is absolutely critical to preventing displacement and preserving inclusive communities.”

This work has dramatically increased the housing stability and well-being of individual residents. To date, these efforts have helped stabilize 644 families. In many cases, the tools residents learn through these programs dramatically change their lives.

One example is Beth [name changed], a resident in her late 50s living on disability income. Health concerns had previously limited her ability to work. Last year, she was hospitalized for an extended period and her roommate, fearful she would not return, moved out of the unit. While Beth was in the hospital, she accumulated a past due rent total of $8,955.

When Beth got out of the hospital, she had no way to pay either the past due rent or an ongoing rental payment without the assistance of a roommate. AHC’s staff worked tirelessly with many partner organizations to secure financial assistance to pay off the rental balance and then helped her secure a new apartment that met her financial constraints. After the move, AHC continued to provide ongoing supportive services and connect her to vital community resources.

Because of one on one case management and participating in onsite workshops, she now wants to continue her education to better her chances for future financial success. She remains stably housed in an affordable community that meets her unique needs and is dedicated to helping her overcome obstacles and enhance the quality of her life. Most importantly – she never had to endure homelessness.

In sum, through providing affordable housing, actively engaging our residents in coaching as well as self-advocacy, and providing onsite Resident Services support, AHC is helping vulnerable residents maintain housing stability and build more successful lives for themselves and their families.

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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.

 

AHC Inc. Honors 2019 Community Builders

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. 

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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.