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Reflections from 30 Community Lodgings Ambassadors

Ambassador Reflections: Who is Jennifer Ferrara’s Favorite Community Lodgings Employee?

Who is Jennifer Ferrara’s Favorite Community Lodgings Employee?

*Editor’s note: At the time this interview was conducted, Ms. Ferrara was with BB&T. She has since taken a position with M&T Bank as Vice President and Business Banking Relationship Manager and she remains very active in social justice causes in Alexandria.

Jennifer Ferrara is the Vice President of Commercial Banking for the Alexandria area BB&T banks. She is the community outreach face of BB&T, and it is hard to attend any community-focused event and not find Jennifer there too.

What attracted you to Community Lodgings?

I live in the Northridge/Beverley Hills neighborhood which is close Community Lodgings’ sites in Arlandria, and I see the need in that community. There is attrition, hunger, a lack of food, a need for family support and basic household items, education, and parenting classes. I see another need that Community Lodgings supports, and that need is school, and specifically homework, support. A lot of the parents in that area do not speak English so they struggle with helping their kids with their school work. With the growing demands of education, proper educational support is a must.

Community Lodgings has been a BB&T client since 2009. We always like to support our clients because we are a relationship-focused bank.

What is important to you about their work?

Their work keeps kids and families safe and off of the streets. They offer support, education, and housing so they have a safe place to live. Their after school program is especially important.

What has your involvement w/Community Lodgings done for you?

It has brought an awareness to me of the needs in the Arlandria community. Sometimes I feel like we live in our own bubble and you don’t get a full awareness of all the needs that there are in your own community.

Who is your favorite Community Lodgings person and why?

Sarah Foote! Her enthusiasm and dedication makes her a great representative of Community Lodgings’ mission. She is always upbeat, smiling, and willing to help make partnerships work and worthwhile. When we chose Community Lodgings as the BB&T Lighthouse project site last April, we worked with Sarah to make spring break emergency food backpacks. She was very accommodating when working with us. Sometimes we have to think outside the box, and she helped with that.

When the families came in to pick up their food backpacks, Sarah was very engaged with them and seemed to know a lot of them. That’s important to me because relationship building is so important to BB&T, and the way she interacts with the families tells that she has a relationship the and that the families feel connected to her. That is the relationship and connection that BB&T strives for as well.

Why would you recommend involvement with Community Lodgings to your friends?

Working with Community Lodgings give you a sense of community pride and of helping others. You get to see the smiling faces of the kids and parents that you are helping, and you know that your work makes a direct impact in their lives.




Ambassador Reflections: 10 Questions with a Community Lodgings Mother – Reina Martinez

Ambassador Reflections: 10 Questions with a Community Lodgings Mother – Reina Martinez

Ten Questions with a Community Lodgings Mother – Reina Martinez  By Josue Martinez        Josue Martinez, an eighth-grader in Community Lodgings’ after school program, recently completed a short course on how to conduct interviews. For his final project, Josue interviewed his mother about Community Lodgings. He introduced himself, explained the purpose of the interview, created open… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections: Eight Questions with Karina Wiggs

Eight Questions with Karina Wiggs, Community Lodgings’ Director of Operations Karina Wiggs joined Community Lodgings’ staff in November of 1998 – nearly 20 years ago! Find out how Community Lodgings helped Karina find her true passion, and who she wants to be when she grows up. What attracted you to Community Lodgings? I needed a… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections: 10 Questions with Christine Suchy

Ten Questions with Community Lodgings Mentor Christine Suchy Christine Suchy has been a mentor for five years. Christine gamely answered ten questions about her volunteer experience as a Community Lodgings questions during a long car trip to New York. She was our “Volunteer of the Year” in 2015 for a particularly heroic act – read… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections: 10 Questions with a Community Lodgings Mom

Ambassador Reflections: 10 Questions with a Community Lodgings Mom

Ten Questions with a Community Lodgings Mom Maria Romero’s daughter Jennesy Perdomo-Romero is in third grade and has been enrolled in Community Lodgings’ youth education program, which offers after school homework support and summer program, for three years. Maria shared how the Community Lodgings staff has helped Jennesy, and Maria’s entire family. How did you… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections: 10 Questions with Stephanie Hemmert

Ambassador Reflections: 10 Questions with Stephanie Hemmert

Ten Questions with Community Lodgings Mentor Stephanie Hemmert Stephanie Hemmert has been part of Community Lodgings’ girls’ mentoring program right from the beginning, and she’s here to stay! Read our Q&A below to find out why she’s been with us for so long, and who is her favorite Community Lodgings person (hint: that person said… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections: a Nonprofit Peer Reflects on Community Lodgings

Friends Helping Friends Helping Women Everyone needs a friend. A friend is that trusted person who laughs, cries, celebrates and commiserates with you, and serves as that beautiful reminder that none of us are alone. Friends make life more fun. If you are lucky enough to work with a friend, work becomes more fun too.… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections: John Taylor Chapman on Community Lodgings

Six Great Quotes from John Chapman about Community Lodgings City Councilman John Chapman first heard of Community Lodgings when he was a child growing up in public housing in Alexandria. He was re-introduced to them when he was employed as a paraprofessional instructor, or a teacher’s aide, at Alexandria City Public School’s (ACPS) George Washington… Continue Reading

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