Getting to Know....

Getting to Know....

Activist Supports Arlington's Teens

Name: Judy Hadden

Neighborhood: Rock Spring

Years in the Community: 27 years in Arlington, 15 years in current neighborhood.

Occupation/Position: New Scholarship Program Director for the Arlington Community Foundation. College costs are growing so applications are increasing. Luckily, more and more community members, families, and organizations want to help with a scholarship through the Foundation! It's an exciting time to be there.

While I'm very happy to be part of the Foundation, I'm also glad that it's not full-time so I can continue the other youth and community outreach and involvement things that I enjoy as a volunteer. I'm coordinator for the Teen Network Board, a group of 24 great high school teens from all over Arlington who are appointed by the County Board and School Board to provide a voice for county teens. They are the group that started the discussions with Ballston Common management that resulted in the recent Teen Day! I'm on the board of Arlington's Partnership for Children, Youth and Families which helped create the Teen Network and I'm youth involvement chair for the Partnership. I'm also on advisory groups for Arlington Schools' career and technical education programs and the county's youth employment program.


Summer Activities Fair — With another parent, created, and for seven years co-chaired, the annual, free county-wide event that connects Arlington families with summer camps and programs for children.

Teen Summer Expo — With another parent, created, and for four years co-chaired, the annual, free county-wide event that connects teens with summer jobs, internships and volunteer positions.

High school Family Network — Created and for five years coordinated information and involvement program for Yorktown High School families

Arlington Middle School Activity Coordinators — Created and piloted program to assist and support middle school students and staff with after-school programs and activities. All county middle schools now have Activity Coordinators.

Community Hero Award, Arlington Schools' Honored Citizen and School Administrator's Civic Award. The nicest part of these was that some very busy people took the time to secretly write up the nominations

Family: Husband, Chuck, two young adult children, Allison and Jeffrey, and a daughter in-law, Kate. My husband is a lawyer who enjoys sports, especially golf and UVA football and basketball, plus helping to coach an Arlington youth soccer team. My son and daughter in-law are in their first year of grad school at University of Michigan. My daughter is out of college and lives in Arlington.

What do you like about your community?: I grew up in a small town in Michigan and I like what feels to me like multiple small towns all tied together in Arlington. Neighborhood events, community centers, parks and fields, schools, restaurants, volunteer opportunities etc., give us lots of ways to meet each other and feel welcome all around the county. I like that I can meet people from all over the United States and the world in Arlington. I'm happy that my children have gone to school with students from so many places that differences in cultures or backgrounds are the norm.

What do you dislike?: I wish we had community centers for each neighborhood, with long hours and space available for all ages. I wish we had a bowling alley and a roller rink — and I really miss the Michigan lakes and sand dunes.

Favorite local restaurant/place: I don't really have a favorite — given a choice, I would try a new restaurant every time.

Sports Interests/Activities/Hobbies: I spend most of my after-work time on volunteer/community projects and with family and friends.

Community Ties: My closest ties are with individuals and groups in the county who work are working hard to make Arlington a better place for children and teens.

Community Concerns: Too many young people in Arlington feel stressed, lonely, sad, disconnected and not respected. We all need to look for ways to change this, not just the schools, county agencies or religious groups. The Partnership has some great "connect with kids" ideas that will help.

Personal Goals:

1. See significant improvement in the way teens feel about their place in the community

2. Learn to speak Spanish

3. Use my cookbook collection

4. More time with family and friends.

What community "hidden treasure" should more people know about?: Get to know a teenager in your neighborhood or go to a high school play, basketball game, art show or science fair.