Column: Opportunity Neighborhood Launches in Reston

Column: Opportunity Neighborhood Launches in Reston

Event signifies community commitment to making opportunity a reality for children, youth and families.

A motivated audience of Reston-area residents, nonprofits, schools, county programs, businesses, faith organizations and elected officials gathered at South Lakes High School to launch the Reston Opportunity Neighborhood (“RestON”) movement.

RestON is a commitment by community partners to work together in a focused and strategic way to improve outcomes for children, youth and families. Whether it is in areas of health, or being ready and prepared for school, feeling safe in our home and community, or having a plan for graduation and beyond—Opportunity Neighborhood helps our community identify the priorities and work together toward that change.   

“Opportunity Neighborhood is a framework adopted by Fairfax County to enable communities like ours to look at the concerns, data, performance and assets, decide what is most important to us, and to bring together the people and institutions that can change that picture.   This helps our community identify the priorities and work together toward that change.  No single organization, business or person can accomplish the task of long-term social change for youth and families on its own. We all do better when we all do better,” said Supervisor Hudgins.

  • Andy Sigle, South Lakes High School PTSA President (event emcee)

  • Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, Hunter Mill District (planning partner)

  • Douglas Tyson, Assistant Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools (planning partner)

  • Greg White, Chief Operating Officer, Cornerstones (partner and facilitator)

  • Leila Gordon, Executive Director, Reston Community Center (planning partner and launch sponsor)

Greg White, COO at Cornerstones, shared with the crowd, “This collaboration provides the opportunity to understand what is happening in our community, see where we are not measuring up—or where there is unequal access to opportunity, and then set goals together to help change that picture for all children and youth. I know personally and professionally the importance of community in reaching young people and offering them chances and choice in their lives.  If it hadn’t been for mentors in my life—I was headed down a path that others had prescribed for me.  Now, we want to do the same in our community.”

Fairfax County established the “Opportunity Neighborhood” initiative to encourage neighborhoods to get involved in building and sustaining a thriving community.  RestON is one of two active “Opportunity Neighborhood” communities in Fairfax County to date.  By bringing communities together to address goals for all children, the initiative coordinates existing efforts to maximize their impact, helps build a strong academic foundation for every child, enhances family resilience and involves families and the larger community in a culture of engagement, connectedness and success.

Information about RestON: An Opportunity Neighborhood can be found at,  or by emailing or calling 571.323.9555.  For information about the Fairfax County Opportunity Neighborhood Initiative, see