County Board to Honor Neighborhood College Graduates

Published on May 19, 2017

  • Free program produces effective community activists, leaders

  • 26 residents graduated from Spring class

  • 342 graduates since program began in 2000

The Arlington County Board will honor the 2017 graduates of Neighborhood College at the start of its 6:30 p.m. session of the May 23 Recessed County Board Meeting.

Twenty-six residents graduated May 4 from the free program that helps participants become more effective community activists and leaders. The program teaches communication and listening skills, consensus building and planning. Some 342 Arlingtonians have graduated from the program since its inception in 2000. County staff and leadership from the County Board, School Board and law enforcement officers spoke at the sessions. For more information on Neighborhood College, visit the County website.

"Neighborhood College helps Arlingtonians learn how County government works and how they can be most effective in their interactions with government," said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. "Hundreds of people have gone through the program, and have come out of it knowing how to advocate for their neighborhoods and their community."

This class includes recent immigrants as well as a diverse group of people who were born in the United States.  The participants come from all walks of life and 20 different neighborhoods, including Arlington View, Long Branch Creek, Westover, Penrose, Radnor/Fort Myer, Lyon Village, Arlington Heights, Nauck, Waverly Hills and Rosslyn. They range in age from millennials to retirees.  In addition to completing the eight classes, they committed to completing at least 10 hours of volunteer work in Arlington County within six months of completing the program.

The 2017 graduates are:

Abdulwahab AlmkainziMorgan Moran
Elvis AponteKrista O'Connell
Jacqueline Baires-DienerMarisa Peacock
Mariana BalgurevichJanmarie Peña
Tania BougebrayelNicolás Peña
Rose BreyaultGail Perry
Grace ChoiCarol Sabatino
Matt de FerrantiDavid Sherdil
Anteneh GebreselassieCortney Stephens
Mehrnaz HosseiniBryant Taylor
Minneh KaneJuanita Tolliver
Carole LieberThao Tran
Rima MatsumotoMatthew Walker