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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.

 

AHC Inc. Welcomes Ginger Brown and Terron Sims to Board of Directors

Arlington, VA (October 25, 2019) – AHC Inc., a nonprofit developer of affordable housing in the mid-Atlantic region, is delighted to announce Ginger Brown and Terron Sims have joined AHC’s Board of Directors.

“AHC is fortunate to have such committed community leaders serve on our Board,” said Walter D. Webdale, AHC Inc. President and CEO. “Both Ginger and Terron have extensive experience building local partnerships and advocating for affordable housing and educational opportunities.”

Ginger Brown is a long-time community planner and strategist. She has held a variety of Arlington County leadership positions, including chair of the Planning Commission’s Long Range Planning Committee, vice chair of Community Facilities Study and member of the Housing Commission. She helped found the Lee Highway Alliance and currently serves as the group’s Executive Director.

Ginger graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Cultural Anthropology.  She received her Masters in Public Policy concentrating in public budgeting and finance from the George Washington University, where she worked for the Institute of Public Policy.

“A diversity of housing options is critical to a community’s success, and I’m delighted to contribute to the conversation about affordable housing as a member of AHC’s Board,” Ginger said.

Terron Sims, II is a community and education activist with a long history of public service. He has volunteered with AHC’s Teen Tutoring Program for nearly 15 years, and works closely with a range of local organizations, including the NAACP and Green Valley’s Revitalization Organization and Civic Association. He is currently the Executive Director of the Warrior Centric Healthcare Foundation.

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Terron has served on nomination committees for Congressman Moran and Senator Tim Kaine, while currently helping Senator Warner. Among his many professional endeavors, Terron is the executive director of the Warrior Centric Healthcare Foundation and served on Secretary Clinton’s National Security Policy Team, on the Veterans and Military Families (VMF) Policy Working Group where he wrote the intergovernmental agency policy.

“As a long-time community activist, I’ve seen how important it is to provide access to affordable housing and education for all,” said Terron. “Being on AHC’s Board is a way for me to be on the front lines of these key issues.”

The AHC Inc. Board of Directors also includes Justin Oliver (Chair), David Barsky (Secretary), C.C. Jenkins (Treasurer), Robert Bushkoff, Wanda L. Pierce, Catherine Saadat, Rachael Schroeder, and Walter D. Webdale (President). Ginger and Terron replace retiring Board members John Snyder and Jason Dalley, who both served nine years on AHC Inc.’s Board.

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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. Celebrates 24 High School Graduates – All First in Their Families to Go to College

(June 13, 2019 – Arlington, VA) Nearly 100 family members, friends, and supporters attended AHC Inc.’s Graduation Celebration to applaud the nonprofit organization’s Class of 2019 – 24 high school students who are all the first in their families to go to college.

The evening, a culmination of AHC’s College and Career Readiness Program (CCR), was overflowing with hope and promise, students’ sheer joy of accomplishment and proud mentors and parents.

Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey was the keynote speaker. “I find this group so inspiring,” said Dorsey. “Even though you all want to do different things in college, there is a common theme that you want to find a way to make a difference and be a change maker in the world.”

Graduate Roger Mensah-Cooley, a participant in AHC’s education programs since fourth grade, shared how the program and volunteers have helped him overcome challenges over the years.

“Our journey ahead is going to be so awesome, but it may be rough at times. However, you can’t climb to the top of a mountain if the sides are smooth. You need those rough patches to get there. AHC and its programs were like my mountain climbing gear.”

Students Earned $600K in Scholarships

AHC’s Class of 2019 earned approximately $600,000 in scholarships and gift aid. Two students also received full-tuition scholarships. Nahom Ayele is going to Bucknell through the POSSE Foundation and Esther Garcia is attending James Madison University thanks to the Centennial Scholars Program.

Many students have grown up in the program. Five students, Rene Burgos, Jessica Delgadillo, Liliana Martinez, Roger Mensah-Cooley, and Kevin Platero started attending AHC’s afterschool program in elementary school.

“I have had the privilege and honor of working with these amazing students, and it has been a wonderful journey,” said Milenka Coronel, AHC College and Career Readiness Manager. “Their hard work, dedication and commitment has paid off and we know they will do amazing things in their future.”

Mentors Are Key to Students’ Success

Each student in the CCR program has a mentor who works one-on-one with them during their senior year of high school. Their consistent dedication makes a world of difference. Some mentors have worked with individual students for several years through AHC’s Teen Tutoring program, and their personal connection has been a huge part of their success.

“AHC’s program allows for one-on-one interaction, which is essential for these students who have less available resources than their more affluent peers,” said Josh Kearns, a mentor who has known Roger Mensah-Colley since 6th grade. “My relationship with Roger has really grown. He inspires me every day.”

CCR Caps Off AHC’s Education Program

The College & Career Readiness Program is the culmination of AHC’s multi-faceted education program, which also includes an afterschool program and summer camp for elementary students plus tutoring for middle and high school teens.

For more than 10 years, 100% of the seniors in the program have successfully graduated from high school. The students’ determination helps build their commitment to succeeding in college. Eighty percent of AHC’s college students are staying in school or have graduated. This compares to just 56% of first-generation students across the country and 74% of students with college-educated parents.

AHC Inc. thanks the many volunteers, supporters and community organizations that have helped our students along their journey, including Project Discovery of Virginia, Arlington County, and the Arlington Public Schools. Together, we are making dreams come true.

AHC’s Class of 2019

Eilaf Abdelmutalb (NOVA Pathways Program), Salina Abraham (NOVA Pathways Program), Rochelle Andrade (Trinity University), Nahom Ayele (Bucknell University), Chrithian Iriarte Blanco (Virginia Tech), Rene Burgos (Virginia Commonwealth University), Jessica Delgadillo (NOVA Pathways Program), Arsema Deribe (NOVA Pathways Program), Esther Garcia (James Madison University), Alinson Hernandez (NOVA Pathways Program), Liliana Martinez (Virginia Commonwealth University), Annali Menjivar (James Madison University), Roger Mensah-Cooley (George Mason University), Fatima Mercado-Zeron (University of Mary Washington), Rozina Nigussie (Virginia Commonwealth University), Jade Northover (Kent State University), Delina Ogbe (NOVA Pathways Program), Walaa Osman (NOVA Pathways Program), Anudari Oyunbold (NOVA Pathways Program), Jose Perez (NOVA Pathways Program), Kevin Platero (NOVA Pathways Program) Yushek Sitoula (NOVA), Nuhamin Tekleselassie (NOVA Pathways Program), and Sarish Zahid (George Mason University).

AHC 2018/2019 Mentors

Terry Burridge, Laura Cialone, Tara Claeys, Jean Falvey, Aisha Farooq, Evan Heit, Joshua Kearns, Stephanie Lee, Marjorie Macieiran Lemeka Magee, Zaynab Malik, Laurie Mittenthal, Laura Mulieri, Shawn Pham, Hunter Rheaume, Jonathan Roose, Sharon Showalter, Jeanne Sweeney, Ann Symonds, Gary Usrey, Adrienne Wichard-Edds, Kristine Wood, and Maria Woolverton.

Event Photos and Program

News Coverage

Volunteer

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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. Chosen by Amazon for Employee Match Campaign

 

(June 11, 2019 – Arlington, VA) AHC Inc. has been selected by Amazon as a nonprofit partner to participate in a $5 million company employee match campaign. AHC is one of 10 housing and homelessness nonprofits chosen in the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC region to receive the donations. Amazon also identified 10 nonprofit organizations in the Seattle area to participate in the campaign. Amazon will match employee donations one-for-one, up to $5 million, through September 30, 2019.

“AHC Inc. is honored to be selected by Amazon as a local nonprofit partner,” said AHC President & CEO Walter D. Webdale. “We are grateful the organization supports our mission to provide affordable housing and educational programs to help low- and moderate-income residents build more stable and successful lives in our community.”

The employee matching campaign was announced along with an $8 million donation to two nonprofits based in the company’s headquarters regions – $3 million to the Arlington Community Foundation in Arlington, VA and $5 million to Plymouth Housing in Seattle, WA. The gifts will support both nonprofits in their missions to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable residents by increasing access to housing for families, veterans, and single adults experiencing chronic homelessness or in need of affordable housing.

Learn more about AHC’s Housing + Education = Success initiatives.

Donate to AHC Inc.’s education and social services programs.

Provide much-needed education tools for AHC’s youth. Check out our “Wish List” on Amazon Smile. 

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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.

 

24 High School Seniors Announce College Choices at AHC College Signing Day

(May 16, 2018 – Arlington, VA) Wearing brand new college t-shirts and big smiles, AHC Inc.’s high school seniors announced their college decisions at the nonprofit organization’s annual “College Signing Day.” The 24 students, participants in AHC’s College and Career Readiness Program, are the first in their families to continue their education and attend college.

AHC Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing developer based in Arlington, VA, provides a variety of onsite educational and social services for residents, including education programs for youth.

Initiated in 2016, AHC’s College & Career Readiness Program helps high school seniors successfully transition to the next step. The program pairs students with adult mentors who help teens succeed academically and also navigate the challenges of college applications and scholarship opportunities.

“It’s wonderful to watch the students shine and to see how proud the volunteers are of their students,” explained Milenka Coronel, AHC’s Senior College and Career Readiness Manager. “College Signing Day was as exciting for the mentors as it was for the students.”

Celebrating with the teens were volunteer mentors, parents, representatives from Arlington Public Schools and leaders from Project Discovery of Virginia, a statewide program that provides resources and tools to help students stay in school and successfully access post-secondary education.

Speakers included James Sample, Equity & Excellence Coordinator, Washington-Lee High School and Monique O’Grady, School Board Member, Arlington Public Schools.

“As a first generation student, you are the first person in your family to pursue higher education and will be part of the 33% of freshmen who are first-generation students in the United States,” said Monique O’Grady, Arlington County School Board member. “We are here to celebrate your hard work and commitment. I know your future is bright and full of hope.”

The students are planning to attend a variety of schools, including George Mason University, James Madison University, Kent State University, Northern Virginia Community College, University of Mary Washington, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Tech.

Youth are considering a wide range of careers, including criminal justice, architecture, mechanical engineering, animation, veterinary medicine, environmental science, law, economics, hospitality management, cyber security, international relations and nursing.

Together the 2019 grads have earned approximately $600,000 in scholarships and aid. Several students earned significant individual scholarships.

Nahom Ayele, for instance, earned a POSSE Foundation Scholarship, a four-year, full-tuition leadership merit scholarship that also includes mentoring, leadership training, and career preparation. Nahom will be attending Bucknell University in the fall.

Esther Garcia received the James Madison University Centennial Scholars Program, a full, four-year scholarship, which also provides financial assistance and academic support.

Three students also received generous scholarships from the Arlington Community Foundation, a combined $13,500 per year.

The College & Career Readiness Program is the culmination of AHC’s multi-faceted education program, which also includes an afterschool program and summer camp for elementary students plus tutoring for middle and high school teens.

Many students have grown up in the program. Five students, Rene Burgos, Jessica Delgadillo, Liliana Martinez, Roger Mensah-Cooley, and Kevin Platero started attending AHC’s afterschool program in elementary school.

“It is such a privilege to be a part of our students’ lives over the years and help their dreams come true,” said Coronel. We are so proud of all they have accomplished and their determination to succeed.”

For more than 10 years, 100% of the seniors in the program have successfully graduated from high school. The students’ determination helps build their commitment to succeeding in college. Eighty percent of AHC’s college students are staying in school or have graduated. This compares to just 56% of the first-generation students across the country and 74% of the students with college-educated parents.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities with AHC Inc. 

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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.