‘Celebrating the Magic of Giving Back’ in Fairfax County
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‘Celebrating the Magic of Giving Back’ in Fairfax County

Some 144 individuals and groups honored at Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards.

Fairfax County Government Volunteer Program: Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) with Board Chairman Sharon Bulova.

Fairfax County Government Volunteer Program: Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) with Board Chairman Sharon Bulova. Photo by Steve Hibbard.

About 400 people attended the 26th annual Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards on Friday, April 27, at the Waterford in Springfield where some 144 individuals and groups were honored. With the theme “Once Upon a Volunteer, Celebrating the Magic of Giving Back,” the breakfast included the “Who’s Who” of Fairfax County’s leaders in business, education, government and nonprofits. It was sponsored by Volunteer Fairfax, members of the Board of Supervisors and Chairman Sharon Bulova. The volunteers, who do everything from helping with technology mentoring, supporting at-risk seniors and working to combat homelessness, gave a total of 328,760 hours of service worth $7.9 million in support of the Fairfax County community. Peggy Fox, Virginia Bureau Chief at WUSA9/CBS affiliate, served as event emcee.

Many different awards were given out, including 2018 Benchmark Awards for volunteering 100, 250, 500, or 1,000 hours; 2018 Community Champions who were selected by the Board of Supervisors honoring a volunteer in their districts who was dedicated to improving life in the county and beyond; and 2018 Competitive Awards for youth, adult, and seniors in individuals and groups.

“Today is all about recognizing the wonderful volunteers we have in Fairfax County,” said Elise Neil Bengtson, CEO of Volunteer Fairfax. “We’re giving them a platform so the county can understand better where volunteers fill gaps and meet the needs of the community and nonprofits at the same time. Without volunteers, we could not get everything done that we do. We have a tremendous wealth of experience and education in this area so even when you’re older and retired, you can do amazing things and feel good and stay energized in this county and be an active participant.”

Added Rick Garza, Volunteer Fairfax board president: “This is a signature event for Volunteer Fairfax and Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax to just honor so many people who devote their time outside of their working hours helping others, helping our community be a better place.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, who offered a Fairfax County Proclamation to Volunteer Fairfax, which was established in 1975, added: “Fairfax County has a unique culture and that includes volunteerism through the roof … We would not be able to do as much as we do with volunteers if we didn’t have an organizational body pulling people together, connecting people and making volunteerism happen. Congratulations Volunteer Fairfax and thank you so much for everything you do for our community.”

For more on Volunteer Fairfax, visit www.volunteerfairfax.org.

County Residents Named Community Champion

The following citizen volunteers from the area were chosen by members of the Board of Supervisors from each of their districts as a Community Champion. This award recognizes volunteers who are committed to improving Fairfax County through service that fulfills or addresses a pressing community need.

Joanne Walton has been a Braddock District resident for over 20 years. Her first foray into volunteering was with the Burke MOMS Club where she sat on the board, served as president, and ran the Preschool Fair. She also co-chaired Braddock Dogs, a local group dedicated to bringing a dog park to Braddock District — the only district that did not have one. For several years, Walton attended meetings and rallied the community for funds to ensure this project came to fruition. As a result of her efforts, there will not only be a new dog park but a playground and skate park as well. Lately, she has devoted many volunteer hours to helping start the Fairfax County Special Education PTA where she serves as the fundraising co-chair. In addition to that role, she is recruiting, training, and coordinating PTA specialist education liaisons for every Fairfax County School — over 180 schools.

District Supervisor John Cook said, “Joanne Walton’s generosity and dedication to service has made her an exemplary leader in the Braddock District. Her tireless efforts improve the lives of parents, students, and animals in our community.”

William “Ed” Pickens is Dranesville District’s outdoor volunteer. If it involves trails, beautification, or stream cleanups, he is the man to ask and the man to get the work done. Each year, he has provided hundreds of volunteer hours involving work with the Fairfax County Park Authority to design, build, and maintain two natural surface trails, Pimmit Run and Scotts Run, as well as initiate major improvements on the Cross-County Trail. In addition to managing other volunteers, he identified and coordinated over 50 trail projects with the Boy Scouts and supervised over 40 Eagle Scout projects, serving as a mentor to those who work beside him. Anyone who enjoys hiking along the many trails in Fairfax County reaps the benefits of his multi-year efforts to expand and maintain the county’s trail network. From ardent hikers to casual walkers, every trail user gets a safer and more enhanced experience as a result of his efforts.

“Mr. Pickens is not a person who seeks acknowledgement of his contributions to our community. Instead, in his quiet and patient way, he performs yeoman’s work to improve the county’s trail network. His work with Eagle Scout candidates on trail projects is inspirational and encourages civic engagement,” said District Supervisor John Foust.

May Bernhardt is an active supporter of the community not only as an individual but also through her small business, Mayflowers. Over the years, her personal creations have added an element of graciousness and style to organizations fortunate enough to receive her floral creations. Among her many philanthropic activities, she demonstrated her commitment to raise support and funds when she and her staff joined the Cornerstones planning committee to end homelessness. With her in-kind donations of her professional goods and services, she continues to support nonprofit organizations – exemplifying the Reston spirit of philanthropy “live, work, play, and serve.”

District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said, “The growth of a community lays on the compassionate actions of its members. May is a true example of how individuals can make a difference by selflessly giving their time and talents.”

For more than five years, Ed Joseph has been chair of the Lee District Land Use Advisory Council, a volunteer organization that hears land use cases and provides their opinion to the Lee District supervisor. Every resident of Lee District and Fairfax County has benefitted from the success of the revitalization efforts, and in turn from his work. His sense of community has been a driving force behind the district’s growth. In addition to the Land Use Advisory Board, he has given back directly to his neighborhood as the former president of the Mews Homeowner’s Association working on a variety of issues.

“Ed is an incredible volunteer,” said District Supervisor Jeff McKay. “His work benefits all of Lee District’s residents and is one of the reasons our revitalization efforts have succeeded as much as they have. His selflessness and dedication to service are inspirational, and we are very fortunate to have him in our community.”

The Community Labor Force is a program of the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office. Members of the Community Labor Force, who participate under court supervision, respond to requests for cleanups of dumping and other trash that cannot be addressed by other volunteers. This program is led by Captain Derek DeGeare and Major Tammy Gold, with day-to-day requests being handled by Sergeants Dan Whorton and Paulette Braund. Examples of their work include clearing underbrush in local parks and power washing gang graffiti on transit center ramps. Whenever there is a mess that everyone eschews as their responsibility, the Community Labor Force is the first call for help. The Community Labor Force has saved many hours and thousands of taxpayer dollars through its outdoor cleanup services while providing participants with job training and skills.

District Supervisor Penny Gross said, “The Community Labor Force is one of those groups that gets very little recognition, and yet is a great boon to the community. They are our Clean-Up Heroes.”

Every Friday, Shirley Steenstra is at Lorton Community Action Center’s thrift store Lorton’s Attic, leading a team of volunteers. Lorton’s Attic serves a dual purpose in the community by providing vouchers for families to shop for free as well as raising revenue for Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC) to help assist families with food, rent, utilities, and other needs. For more than eight years, she has crossed paths with more than 1,000 individuals in the store helping LCAC families find what they need. Previously, Lorton’s Attic was only open Monday through Friday; but because of Steenstra’s commitment, the store is now able to open its doors on Saturdays with Steenstra serving as the lead volunteer.

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Daniel Storck said, “Shirley is a selfless volunteer and a true ‘behind the scenes’ champion. The Mount Vernon District is fortunate to have a very active citizenry that is dedicated and devoted to helping others and connecting within the community.”

The Tysons Partnership serves as a collaborative of stakeholders working together to transform Tysons into a new downtown by serving as a convener, a voice, and a catalyst for the people who work, live, and do business in Tysons. The Tysons Partnership through its Community Responsibility Council provides a forum for business, civic, and government leaders committed to improving the lives of underserved populations within the Tysons community. Officially launched in 2016, the council’s roster has grown to over 45 members, including representatives from local employers, residential entities, and the Fairfax County government. Its signature TysonsCares Season of Giving raised over $90,000 for local initiatives providing food, clothing, and shelter with a specific focus on children and youth. They connected with eight Fairfax County Public Schools to distribute over 1,000 pairs of new athletic shoes to Title 1 students with a Shoes4Kids donation drive and partnered with Food for Others on a 5K charity run at Tysons Corner Center.

As District Supervisor Linda Smyth said, “While we think of Tysons as our corporate and business center, the Tysons Partnership has looked beyond the new high rises to see the needs of the people who live and work there. Through its charitable efforts, the Partnership is pulling together all stakeholders to build a new community with a promising future for everyone.”

In May of 2011, Tom Bash was appointed by District Supervisor Pat Herrity to serve as Springfield’s commissioner of the Fairfax Area Commission on Aging. Since then, Bash has been a tireless advocate for all 50-plus related needs working on various projects. Most noteworthy includes implementing the 50-plus Community Action Plan. This includes 31 initiatives regarding housing, transportation, community engagement, and other services. He has collaborated with local partners and staff on webpages, criminal exploitation awareness, and a real-time online transit data portal. He has also worked on an alternative to Metro-Access that would provide on-demand, quality service to people with disabilities. His reach of service also includes volunteering on the Fairfax County Disability Services Board and with nine other local organizations.

“I am proud to call Tom Bash my 2018 Volunteer Fairfax Community Champion,” said Herrity. “He does not take ‘no’ for an answer and continues to pursue all avenues to make Fairfax County the best place to live, work, and play.”

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Supervisor Kathy L. Smith honors Glynda Mayo Hall, Sully District.

Glynda Mayo Hall is an advocate and voice for individuals in need. Her resume includes a lengthy list of over 20 organizations she has volunteered for over the years including: Women at Work for the National Capital Area, the Centreville-Chantilly Rotary Club, the Northern Virginia Business and Professional Women’s Club, and Western Fairfax Christian Ministries. She has served on the board of directors or trustees for a number of organizations helping to set and approve policies, lead fundraisers, as well as solicit stakeholders and funds. As a Fairfax County Partnership Development Manager, she recruited and engaged businesses, faith-based organizations, nonprofits, community partners, and stakeholders to support county programs and find solutions to human service issues. After retiring from 28 years with the county in December 2017, she continues to volunteer in order to help the poor, homeless, disenfranchised, and any other groups needing an advocate.

As District Supervisor Kathy Smith said, “Glynda’s efforts with many organizations have focused on bringing people together to provide the resources that help our neediest neighbors.”

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Chairman Sharon Bulova honors Charles Fegan, Fairfax County.

For the last quarter-century, Charlie Fegan has served on the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees as a reliable source of guidance for both the board and the community. He has been an invaluable source of knowledge and voice for both the libraries and the community in his role on the board. He has put in hours of outreach, library advocacy, as well as building and maintaining relationships with members of the Board of Supervisors to further serve the citizens of Fairfax County.

As Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova said, “Charlie has gone above and beyond the quality and quantity of service to the community as my appointee to the Library Board of Trustees for the last 25 years.”

2018 County Volunteer Service Awards

The following individuals and groups were awarded a 2018 Fairfax County Volunteer Service Award in the competitive categories.

Adult Over 250 hours: Baileys Crossroads is a booming commercial area that has struggled to balance its economic growth with the needs in residential neighborhoods. As president of the Sunset Manor Civic Association, long-time resident Marco Johnson, has served 1,150 hours in 2017. Partnering with the Mason District Supervisor’s Office and the Fairfax Department of Transportation, Johnson led the campaign for two major programs: Traffic Calming and Residential Permit Parking. Traffic Calming, involved a combination of mainly physical measures to reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use. Through the installation of approved speed humps and speed tables, his plan is helping to protect the residential feel of the community while increasing the safety of children playing in the neighborhood. Through the Residential Permit Parking District program, he successfully created on-street restrictions in areas impacted by commercial and non-resident parking. For a community that includes four individual neighborhoods in Bailey’s Crossroads, he has significantly increased public safety and quality of life.

“Marco is dedicated to serving the community,” said Sunset Manor Community Emergency Response Team Volunteer Adolf Neumann, “and he demonstrates that attitude is fortitude in service.”

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Adult Volunteer Group: PRS CrisisLink’s CareRing volunteers with Board Chairman Sharon Bulova.

Adult Volunteer Group: The PRS CrisisLink’s CareRing program assists vulnerable older adults in maintaining independence and community connections by increasing mental and social well-being. Through scheduled calls daily or several times throughout the week, CareRing Volunteers phone clients for social support while also assessing any risk of depression or cognitive decline. These volunteers build trusted and healthy social relationships with clients who may be at risk of isolation. The volunteers embrace clients’ thoughts and feelings, making sure they know someone cares about them and that they are not alone. In 2017, CareRing volunteers served over 1,000 clients, handled over 35,000 calls, and exchanged over 33,000 text messages. The impact of this group is best described by a CrisisLink client whose letter to volunteers read, “I love when you call me to see how I am doing. It cheers me up and gets me going for the day. I tell you with all my heart and soul, I will never forget your kindness and love.”

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RSVP Northern Virginia: Ken Kozloff with Board Chairman Sharon Bulova.

RSVP Northern Virginia: Ken Kozloff has spent the last five years volunteering with Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, an organization focused on inspiring the next generation to be financially capable and tenacious. Kozloff is a familiar face at JA Finance Park (Fairfax) where he serves as an adult role model for eighth graders who get hands-on experience meeting the fiscal challenges of everyday life. He is also a volunteer instructor in Fairfax County Public Schools through the JA In-a-Day program designed to foster financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. He has also gone so far as to incorporate his other volunteer experience into support of JA programming. As a volunteer with Adaptive Aquatics at the Providence RECenter, he teaches swim classes to children on the Autism spectrum. He parlayed his experience with Adapted Aquatics into expanding JA’s high school program to include students with special needs. He developed a new financial literacy curriculum for children with Autism, called JA Life Skills Learning that is currently being offered at three local high schools.

Kozloff has taught 14 classes in Fairfax County schools, directly impacted 266 students, and volunteered over 1,990 hours in 2017. Gayle Robinson, director of Program Innovation at JA said, “Ken is a go-to volunteer that is always happy to help. We are so thankful for Ken’s support.”

Senior Volunteer: Jim Dillon first heard about Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church, a nonprofit organization that makes critical repairs at no charge for low-income homeowners and nonprofit organizations, on a news broadcast. One year later, when Rebuilding Together AFF started working on a house three doors down, Dillon knew he wanted to be involved in the project and began volunteering. As a technical leader and master builder, he has done everything from minor repairs to turning a condemned house into a safe home. For the past 24 years, many low-income homeowners have been positively impacted by Jim’s dedicated service. He has served as mentor by training volunteers on repairs and modification techniques both on the job and in more formal sessions. In addition, he has developed and written specifications that are now used nationwide by other Rebuilding Together affiliates. In the last year, he has worked on 20 homes and contributed over 1,600 hours of service.

Rebuilding Together AFF Executive Director Patricia Klein said, “When volunteers learn that Jim will be leading a team, they jump on the opportunity to work alongside him and learn from him. If each of us gave to our neighbors as Jim does, we could radically change communities across the country.”

Volunteer Program: Ecumenical Community Helping Others, better known as ECHO, is an all-volunteer, charitable, nonprofit organization supported by 24 local faith groups which include Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Baha'i faiths in the Springfield and Burke areas. Since its incorporation in 1969, ECHO has continued to be an all-volunteer organization that implements broad-based programs for families and individuals who suffer the effects of long-term poverty or are facing an emergency need. During 2017, ECHO counselors held over 4,400 client visits and provided nearly $225,000 in financial support to families. Weekend food packs provided simple-to-prepare meals and snacks to 12 elementary schools and a middle school for students who face food insecurity at home over the weekends. ECHO client families with school-aged children received book bags filled with new school supplies and holiday gifts for more than 600 children. ECHO’s administrative volunteers take leadership roles to ensure work is done and clients are served fairly all while making sure the building is kept in a safe, orderly condition. Support volunteers provide other necessary assistance such as IT services, website maintenance, and grounds keeping.

As ECHO President Bob Diegelman said, “This is simply neighbors helping neighbors. Everything that ECHO does is possible only because of the tremendous generosity of its 24-member congregations, churches, and temples: its deeply committed volunteers, supporting groups and associations, and an active and committed business community.”

Youth Volunteer: In the summer of 2017, Racheal Appiah volunteered to lead all youth programming at Stony Brook, a community located off Route 1 in Alexandria’s Hybla Valley. The Stony Brook Community is part of the Community Preservation and Development Corporation, a not-for-profit real estate developer dedicated to providing safe, high quality affordable housing to low and moderate-income families and individuals. Appiah’s new role included planning, organizing, and running a three-week summer camp, and a six-week math learning loss prevention program. For resident families who could not afford to send their children to summer camp, there was now high-quality summer programming right in their neighborhood. In total, over 60 youth attended a camp program organized by Appiah. In addition to her educational programming, she serves as the lead organizer for the Stony Brook Community Day. She worked with fellow youth peers to coordinate carnival games, prizes, sweet treats, and more. Over 150 residents attended, making it the most successful Community Day in the past 5 years. Throughout the year, Appiah was an active participant in several other service programs including starting a door-to-door recycling program that collected over 130 bins of recyclables.

Stony Brook’s Director of Volunteer Engagement Jennifer Fauss said, “Racheal’s passion for service is inspirational, and it reflects in the dedication of the young volunteers who serve with her. She is a leader in her community, a role model for younger youth, and an absolutely amazing, kind-hearted young woman.”

Youth Volunteer Group: This past year, the Stony Brook Junior Volunteers made environmentalism a focal point of their efforts. In their two clean-ups alone, the Stony Brook Junior Volunteers collected 90 bags of litter, as well as numerous large items from shopping carts to an old dresser. They also relieved several trash and debris dams, which has allowed the creek to flow naturally, reducing potential erosion and flooding. The youth group turned a plot of abandoned land into a thriving community garden. Since its establishment, the community garden has grown over 53 pounds of fresh produce for 28 low-income units in the community, assisting nearly 100 individual residents.

Older teen volunteers have taken the time to engage and motivate younger youth. Their leadership has made service at Stony Brook the expectation. Even when there are setbacks — the creek is littered again or part of the community garden was damaged — they do not give up. Their ability to persevere through adversity, both in community service and in their own lives, makes them such a special group of young volunteers.

“Each day, the youth come to my office begging to volunteer. I marvel at the dedication and passion that the members of this group have to making the world they live in a better place through service,” said Jennifer Fauss, director of volunteer engagement at the Community Preservation and Development Corporation.

Family Volunteer: Reverend Morris and Polley Hargrove serve at New Hope Housing's Mondloch House shelter, the oldest emergency shelter in Fairfax County serving chronically-homeless individuals in a home-style setting. On the fourth Sunday of every month, the Hargroves prepare a home-cooked meal. Instead of simply dropping off the meal, they sit, eat, and talk with guests referring to these nights as their “family dinners.” The Hargroves have spent time with most, if not all, 22 guests of Mondloch House in 2017, greeting them with warmth and respect. Last year, Polley Hargrove’s birthday fell on the fourth Sunday of the month and instead of skipping family dinner, she decided to celebrate with the guests at Mondloch House. She had one special request for her friends and family: Instead of buying her a gift, purchase a gift for a shelter guest. Working with staff to compile a wish list, each guest was given a special gift. The dining room was decorated, a catered meal was provided, and the evening was spent enjoying each other’s company.

Volunteer Coordinator Sami Smyth said, “Reverend Morris and Polley truly care about the guests at Mondloch House and treat them like family. We are so grateful that they spend their fourth Sunday with our guests each month.”

Fairfax County Government Volunteer: After retiring from careers in the Air Force and 26 years in private sector IT, Walter Jackson was looking for something to do with his new-found time. As an avid book lover, he looked to the library and offered his services as a volunteer technology tutor. He conducts one-on-one tutoring sessions helping library customers improve their skills for important tasks such as applying for jobs, creating resumes, searching for housing, and setting up excel spreadsheets to manage finances. Jackson seeks to empower people to be more comfortable and adept at navigating technology, while still taking the time to show students where books on computers can be found on the shelves. Eager to find more ways to give back, he began assisting with an English Conversation Group. He provides a fun and engaging atmosphere for those who may be overwhelmed learning a new language. Each week, he selects a discussion topic often related to current events as well as a word of the week. For example, during the government shutdown, his word of the week was “furlough.”

“Learning a new language and trying to keep up with the dizzy pace of technology in our world are two very daunting obstacles,” said Volunteer Coordinator Erin Chernisky. “Walter, with great kindness and patience, helps people navigate these challenges and provides them with the necessary skills to be successful in their endeavors.”

Fairfax County Government Volunteer Program: The Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is a Citizen Corps volunteer program managed under the auspices of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. The CERT program prepares ordinary citizens to safely help themselves, their families, and their communities during emergencies. They also provide emergency preparedness and public safety related services on an ongoing basis. Over the last year, 694 active CERT volunteers improved the county’s overall emergency response posture through a variety of trainings while also providing a multitude of emergency preparedness and public safety related services. In addition, hundreds of volunteers applied their skills to support community activities and events such as lost child assistance and traffic management. CERT members attended 47 outreach events across the county, informing approximately 7,653 residents about opportunities and activities to better equip themselves, their families, and their neighbors in the event of an emergency.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Volunteer Liaison Jeffery Katz said, “Fairfax County’s CERT program is a prime example of ‘Neighbors helping Neighbors.’ 2017 was another year of unprecedented growth and innovation during which our CERTs further improved our County’s disaster preparedness.”

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Corporate Volunteer Program: Fannie Mae team with Board Chairman Sharon Bulova.

Corporate Volunteer Program: In the past year, Fannie Mae employees have volunteered over 400 hours with Pathway Homes, a nonprofit organization providing housing and supportive services to adults with serious mental illness and other co-occurring disabilities in Northern Virginia. In May, over 100 Fannie Mae staff members provided landscaping at four Pathway homes where clients resided. Volunteers also assembled bathrooms sets and welcome kits for new clients moving into their new home. In total, their contribution of time and supplies estimates to over $80,000, saving the agency funds that can be redirected to support residents. Pathway Homes also serves as a beta site for an emerging Fannie Mae Fellows program. This involves Fannie Mae providing an employee to serve as a Fellow at no cost to Pathway Homes for three months on-site and an additional three months after returning to Fannie Mae. The Fellow, selected through a competitive process of approximately 225 eligible employees, will focus on identifying and mitigating barriers that decrease the number of affordable rental units available for special needs populations.

Pathway Homes President and CEO Dr. Sylisa Lambert-Woodard said, “Pathway Homes greatly appreciates Fannie Mae’s innovative and thoughtful approach to working with nonprofits and applauds the effort they put forth to make sure the individuals served by the nonprofit truly benefit from their partnership.”

Rising Star: Volunteers wear many hats and Josh Stillman is no exception. He is the co-founder, co-organizer, treasurer, board member, and head of community engagement and experience for TEDxTysons. Through the form of short, powerful talks, TEDxTysons creates an opportunity for anyone with an idea, project or inspiring story to share it with the rest of the region. In his leadership roles, Stillman is part of a small curation team that chooses speakers for TEDxTysons and handles partnership development for the organization. As lead organizer and curator, he traveled to Tanzania last year to attend TED Global where he participated in workshops with other TEDx organizers around the world to learn how to improve events for the local Tysons community. As treasurer, he handles all finance, legal, and administrative requirements, including the establishment of TEDxTysons 501(c) (3) status. While doing all this, Stillman is also an active volunteer with Minds Matter of Washington D.C., helping to make competitive college admissions a reality for underserved students. He provides students with the mentoring, test preparation, and writing instruction necessary to achieve college success.

TEDxTysons Co-Founder Ashwod Heffern said, “Borrowing a quote from Blaise Pascal sums up working with Josh better than anything else, ‘The virtue of a person is measured not by his outstanding efforts, but his everyday behavior.’ Josh’s dedication to improving personally and professionally is so he is capable of giving more and improving the lives of those fortunate enough to come into contact with him.”

Lifetime Achievement: Dick Alderson began volunteering in 2000 when he was recruited to serve on the board of directors for New Hope Housing, an organization that provides families and individuals with shelter, housing, and the tools to build a better life. As a lifelong resident of the Mount Vernon area, he was in a unique position to offer insights into the changes the area has seen and to critically think about the future of the organization’s role in the community. As board president in 2007, his leadership and strategic thinking skills were vital as New Hope began its first strategic planning process in years. After leaving the board of directors in 2010, he was elected to the board of trustees where he was a member of the Strategic Planning Task Force during the organizations expansion into Arlington County and the City of Alexandria. After years of serving New Hope, Alderson sought out another organization to serve and arrived at Good Shepherd Housing. Since 2010, he has served on its board of directors where he has strengthened outreach to vulnerable populations in need and gained support of the long-term goal to add 150 affordable housing units. Under his leadership, the board also adopted its newly revised five-year plan. Alderson has spent the last 20 years helping to make his community stronger by making the nonprofits that serve his community stronger. By serving on the board of directors for both New Hope and Good Shepherd, he has been one of the strongest allies of affordable housing and solutions to homelessness in Fairfax County. Beyond attendance at meetings and financial support, he is a visionary who has dug deeper into issues that the organizations are working to solve.

President and CEO of Good Shepherd Housing David Levine said, “Because of Dick Alderson, we can do more for hundreds of vulnerable working families and individuals in need of our affordable housing.”