It's hard to live in Reston and not notice the volunteer work of the Reston Association. With volunteer programs that cover everything from social lives to Reston's natural environment, it is the glue that binds the community. Ha Brock is the volunteer coordinator for the RA and is this week's People Profile.
Number of years in the community: I grew up in Arlington, and after I got married, we moved to Fort Bragg, N.C. I have always enjoyed working with people, especially parents and their children. Working with the Cumberland County Partnership for Children, a non-profit organization, as an Event/Volunteer Coordinator in North Carolina was a rewarding experience. I worked with volunteers to help build partnerships with families and the communities so that children could have a chance to succeed once they started kindergarten. I was responsible for recruiting volunteers to help parents make informative decisions on quality child care, parenting resources, access to health care, and provide other support systems for Cumberland County's children. In 2000, my husband got reassigned back to Northern Virginia. We moved to Herndon and I went back to work for a Communications Company as a Training Coordinator for a year. After I had my second child, I chose not to work for a couple of months, so I could be home with my kids. When I decided to go back into the workforce, I wanted to find a similar job to the one I had in North Carolina, working with volunteers. The job search took several months, there wasn't a lot of Volunteer Coordinator's position in Northern Virginia, until a friend of mine told me about the Reston Association.
Family: My husband, Christopher, U.S. Army; daughter, Ashley, 9, attends Lake Anne Elementary School and Mya, 4, in preschool.
Current job/primary occupation: I am responsible for recruiting and placing volunteers in order to expand and enhance the programs and services that the Reston Association offers to our members. RA provides our volunteers with training and meaningful work experience. We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities for all ages. We have a diverse group of talented volunteers and there is no doubt they're our biggest asset.
Achievements: My two beautiful daughters.
Activities/interests/hobbies: My kids are my activities, interest and hobbies, but when I do have free time, which isn't often, I like to work on my garden and the many craft projects I haven't finished. I also serve on the Lake Anne Elementary School PTA Board as vice president/volunteer coordinator.
Favorite local restaurant or place in the community? Any Thai restaurant
What are your community concerns? Parents and children tend to spend less time together and most parents face an on-going struggle to balance the demands of their family life with their jobs. Parents should take the time to be more involved with their kids' education. Schools and parent-teacher groups like the PTA continually work to implement programs that will include parents in their children's education, such as parents' night, family workshops, take-home activities and school fund raisers. Although some working and single parents may be unable to contribute to schools because of work commitments and time, there are other ways that parents can get involved in their kids' education. Get involved both at home and at your child's school, join the PTA and make a difference in your child's education.
What brought you here? Besides the military, I wanted my children to be around my family and their cousins.
What community "hidden treasure" do you think more people should know about? Four lakes covering 125 acres, 15 pools, 49 tennis courts, 55 miles of paved pathways, 26 ball fields, two community buildings, six picnic pavilions, 39 tot lots, Walker Nature Center, RV storage yard, and over 1,350 acres of open space.
What did you want to be when you "grew up?" A lifeguard, I wanted to be tan, spend my summer at the pool with my friends and get paid for doing it.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully, still living in Herndon and working with the Reston Association
Personal goals? Managing my family life a little better and spending more time with my family now that my part-time job just went full-time in January. Laundry and checking e-mails can wait until the kids are in bed.