Arlington, Virginia, June 27, 2018 – The Arlington Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez will receive the 2018 “William T. Newman, Jr. Spirit of Community Award”, and the Arlington Free Clinic will receive its 2018 Community Impact Award. “We are so pleased and excited to be recognizing a real trailblazing Arlingtonian with a deep passion for helping those in the immigrant community achieve their potential, and an organization that has dramatically impacted the lives of so many here in Arlington,” said Jeanne Broyhill, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Arlington Community Foundation.

The awards will be presented at the 2018 Spirit of Community Luncheon on Thursday, September 27th at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. Each year this event brings together over 300 of Arlington’s civic, business and government leaders. This year’s event will be co-chaired by John and Christine Milliken. Last year John was honored with the 2017 Spirit of Community Award.

Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia, coming to the U.S. as a 16 year old without a family. Recognizing the “life-saving” value of education, she dedicated her life to helping low-income students, particularly in the immigrant community, overcome the disadvantages in pursuing their education – language barriers, parent disengagement, and financial need. Dr. ViolandSanchez was the first immigrant bilingual teacher in the Arlington Public Schools, started the first bilingual education program, started the first bilingual GED program in Virginia, and organized a Spanish literacy program for parents who could not read or write. She served on the Arlington Public Schools Board of Education. In 2010 she founded the Dream Project to help Arlington Dreamers –students who had an immigration status that created multiple barriers to work and education – to obtain a college education. This year the Dream Project awarded almost $150,000 in scholarships to “dreamers” residing in Virginia.

The second award given this year is the Community Impact Award. This year the recipient is the Arlington Free Clinic, founded in 1984. No one thinks of the Arlington Free Clinic without thinking of Dr. Joseph Backer, former President and an early founder of the clinic; Nancy Pallesen, its first Executive Director; and Dr. Thomas Connally, head of medical care. These remarkable leaders helped to forge one of the most successful and impactful nonprofits in our County. With over 11,000 low-income, uninsured Arlingtonians, the Arlington Free Clinic, through its professional staff and over 500 volunteer specialists, offers a broad array of medical services. Last year it provided almost 3,000 primary care visits, over 1,200 specialty care visits, 600 physical therapy visits and over 800 dental visits, to name a few. Its impact in our community has been life-saving and invaluable.

The Spirit of Community Award, named in honor of the Foundation’s Founder and President Emeritus, the Honorable William T. Newman, Jr., was established to recognize individuals and/or organizations who have demonstrated a tireless and unselfish commitment to improving the quality of life in Arlington. Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez will join an exemplary roster of past honorees including John Andelin and Ginger Geoffrey, Anna Barber, Jean Berg, Elizabeth Campbell, Preston Caruthers, Judy A. Connally, Hon. L. Karen Darner, Jennie T. Davis, Rich Doud, Ralph Johnson, Johnathan C. Kinney, John T. McCracken, John Milliken, Mary Ann Moran, H. Paul Mount, Joan Cooper, Mary Ann Nirschl, Charles L. Overby, Lola C. Reinsch, Eric Schaeffer, Walter Tejada, Meg Tuccillo, Hon. George D. Varoutsos, and the Woman’s Club of Ashton Heights.

About the Foundation: Founded in 1991, the Arlington Community Foundation is an independent charitable organization that uses the power of philanthropy and its role as community convener and catalyst to improve the quality of life in Arlington. The Foundation provides philanthropic leadership and raises capital for grants and scholarships to address community needs now and in the future. The Arlington Community Foundation has awarded over $15 million in college scholarships and grants to nonprofit organizations.

This press release first appeared on ARLCF.ORG.



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