Beautification Summer Youth Employment

Beautification Summer Youth Employment

The summer for ARHA (Alexandria Redevelopment & Housing Authority) was more eventful than usual because of the increase of the number of youth workers assigned to the agency by the City of Alexandria Joblink program. ARHA hosted a record number of forty youth workers this summer while launching a beautification program aimed at improving the overall aesthetic of ARHA properties. With ideapreneuer Michael Johnson of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and the openness of CEO Roy Priest, a new program emerged which many youth were able to benefit and experience their first steps towards self-reliance and fiscal responsibility.

Youth worked from early morning to mid-afternoon outdoors learning the basics of landscape architecture, maintenance skills and the value of building effective teams. The project was spearheaded by executive assistant to the CEO of ARHA, Ian Hawkins. He was kept busy overseeing the project and making sure that all youth workers and interns were properly assigned and all tasks were handled with care and diligence.

The summer internship program at ARHA is not new. Under Roy Priest’s leadership, interns have been gaining invaluable experience, skills and learning how to effectively network for the past five years. This year there were college interns who were given the opportunity to serve in leadership positions with the technology and outdoor beautification projects. The technology project was quickly embraced by the millennials and the result of their hard work, creativity and tech savviness will be seen by all when the launch of the new and improved website is made available later this September.

For more information about this program and others please visit the website at, visit the facebook page at Alexandria Redevelopment, twitter at @Arha1939 or call 703.549.7115.