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365 Days of COVID-19: AHC’s Resident Services Team Pivots to Meet the Challenge

(March 15, 2021 – Arlington, VA) A year ago, AHC Inc., like most organizations, had to shutter its in-person activities in response to the fast-moving pandemic. At the same time, as a nonprofit affordable housing organization, AHC had to quickly switch gears to respond to new and accelerating needs among the children, families and seniors living in the organization’s affordable apartment communities in Maryland and Virginia.

Thanks to a committed and determined Resident Services team, AHC was able to spring into action to help residents weather the challenges of the pandemic. “In the midst of everchanging protocols and chaos, our team was able to pivot to provide life-giving work this past year,” said Susan Davidson, AHC Resident Services Director. “These efforts brought  joy, relief, and much hope to families facing incredible adversities.”

In the last year, AHC’s Resident Services staff members connected with more than 3,000 residents. This included thousands of outreach and follow-up phone calls to more than 1,000 households struggling with rental delinquencies.  Through hours and hours of one-on-one work, AHC’s team helped access $2,963,374 in rental assistance funds for residents – an immeasurable relief for struggling families. AHC Inc. was also able to help 530 households with gift cards through the organization’s Emergency Relief Fund.

“We’ve always known our Resident Services team excels in connecting community services to those who need them most,” said Jennifer Endo, Community Relations Vice President. ” The pandemic has underscored the value of that role.”

Additional Resident Services’ support during the last year includes:

Fighting hunger

  • Increased food distribution sites from six to 26 communities to provide 2,000 households with much-needed food.
  • Delivered groceries to the doorstep of 20+ households in quarantine.
  • Involved 113 volunteers to help with food distributions.

Maintaining educational opportunities

  • Provided 5,000+ virtual sessions with students including Afterschool Programs, Summer Camp, Teen Tutoring, and College & Career Readiness Workshops.
  • Thanks to generous donor support, 960 AHC students across Maryland and Virginia received backpacks.
  • 31 high school seniors (Class of 2020) graduated and are enrolled in post-secondary education.  They received $1.2 million in scholarship awards. 31 additional seniors (Class of 2021) applied to 194 colleges and universities and to date have received 80 acceptances.
  • 65 residents participated in virtual financial literacy workshops in Arlington and Baltimore.
  • 260 volunteers provided support to elementary and teen students.

Building health

  • Distributed 1,200 masks to children and adults.
  • 140 residents received COVID testing onsite
  • 144 seniors received COVID vaccines in their community room.
  • 4 pop-up vaccination registrations were held at AHC’s apartment communities in Arlington
  • Helped 697 residents (primarily seniors) stay engaged through new resident communiations platform, Resident-Connect.

Connecting to community

  • AHC staff helped coordinate generous community support throughout the pandemic, including distributing 4,000 snack bags to students and families, 135 cozy blankets to students in Arlington’s education program, 600 new winter coats and 400 books to children in Virginia and Maryland, 500 activity bags for senior residents, 47 holiday trees, and 900 gift bags to students and senior residents over the holidays.

AHC’s Class of 2020 Tops $1 Million in Scholarships and Aid

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AHC Inc. Celebrates 31 High School Graduates – All the First-Generation in Their Families to Go to College

Contact:
Celia Slater, Communications Director, AHC Inc., 571-228-5948 or celia.slater@ahcinc.org

(June 30, 2020 – Arlington, VA) Celebrating graduation may have looked a little different this year, but we could not be any prouder of the students from our College and Career Readiness (CCR) program who graduated from high school in 2020. All 31 of the amazing young people who participated in the program this year are off to college in the fall. In total, they were accepted into 135 schools and received an estimated $1.24 million in scholarships and aid.

“I’m going to be the first person in my family to go to college in the United States,” said Sosna Marshet “I’m looking forward to all the college experiences.” Sosna, like all of her CCR classmates this year, is among the first in her family to pursue a college education.

Sagar Sapkota echoed Sosna’s sentiments saying, “I’m really happy that I’m going to college because my parents have sacrificed a lot for me and my brothers.”

Throughout the school year, volunteer mentors work one-on-one with the students to study for standardized tests, apply for financial aid and scholarships, and write their college essays. Many of the students in our College and Career Readiness program have been with us since elementary school. And, that is by design. AHC offers after school and summer programming that grows with children, meets their needs at each stage from elementary school to senior year of high school, and helps them build stronger futures.

Students are already planning their next steps. Many are choosing practical majors like Information Technology, Business or Engineering. Others are committed to helping others by becoming teachers, social justice lawyers, doctors, nurses, and social workers. And several are exploring creative careers in journalism and architecture.

“We have such hardworking students in this program. It is so valuable to connect them with another caring and supportive adult who can help them navigate applying for college – especially since so many of them are first-generation college students,” said Milenka Coronel, AHC’s College and Career Readiness Manager. “Thanks to our volunteer mentors and supporters, these students are all taking that crucial next step. I’m so proud of our graduates; they are going to do such great things in college and beyond.”

You can hear from our graduates about their hopes for college in their own words in this video.

Meet the Graduates:

Congratulations again to the class of 2020!

  • Sachin Acharya (George Mason University)
  • Sebirya Ahmed (Lehigh University)
  • Natnael Aklilu (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Erika Amaya (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Melissa Barrera (NOVA)
  • Brandon Escobar-Campos (University of Virginia)
  • Carlos Cordova (Virginia Tech)
  • Sharon Corrales (George Mason University)
  • Michael Dorjsuren (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Jacqui Flakes (NOVA)
  • Alejandra Galdo-Hernandez (Marymount University)
  • Raquel Garcia (Virginia Tech)
  • Netsanet Gurmu (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Celeste Lazo-Villarroel (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Valeria Lopez (West Virginia University)
  • Sosna Marshet (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Najae McCoy (University of Delaware – Career and Life Studies Certificate)
  • Mohamed Mohamed (George Mason University)
  • Analy Morales (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Ochirbat Munkhchuluun (George Mason University)
  • Yasna Nasiree (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Jacqueline Ortiz (Old Dominion University)
  • Jamileth Picavia-Salazar (George Mason University)
  • Jennifer Rivera (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Sagar Sapkota (University of Virginia)
  • Michelle Soliz (Old Dominion University)
  • Sabiha Tajul (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Kimberlie Tellez (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Santiago Ulunque (NOVA-Pathways)
  • Brikiti Yohannes (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Mahvash Zahid (George Mason University)

Thank you to our 2019/2020 mentors for their dedication to our students!

  • Benjamin Bigelow, Jim Burridge, Terry Burridge, Tara Claeys, Milenka Coronel, Adrienne Eng, Ami Foster, Gregory Frey, Lindsey Guarni, Alex Hegji, Chelsea Jones, Maureen Keeney, Chris Kruckenberg, Catherine Latell, Marjorie Macieira, Zaynab Malik, Gail Markulin, Yehoshua Orozco, Alex Payne, Karissa Ruano, Maureen Strotland, Jeanne Sweeney, Ann Symonds, and Adrienne Wichard-Edds

Visit AHC’s Instagram at @AHC_Inc for individual portraits of our amazing students.

To learn more about volunteering with AHC, please email volunteer@ahcinc.org or visit https://www.ahcinc.org/get-involved/volunteers/.

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. For more information, visit www.ahcinc.org