Category Archives: Community Service & Volunteerism

Office of Presidential Correspondence looking for Volunteers

The Office of Presidential Correspondence (OPC) plays a key role in facilitating an open dialogue between President Obama and the American people.  Our mission is to listen to and understand constituents’ views, experiences, and ideas, and to respond on behalf of the President.  We receive and reply to letters and emails, calls coming in to the White House Comment Line, gifts sent to the First Family, and requests for assistance with Federal agencies.  Our office also provides President Obama with a daily sample of 10 letters that help keep him in touch with the real-life and diverse experiences of Americans across our country.

To learn more about OPC, please take a few minutes to watch this video. 

The OPC Student Volunteer Program allows local college students and recent graduates to gain experience within the Executive branch by working alongside staff, interns, and other volunteers.  Student Volunteers must commit to volunteering at least 15 hours per week and are expected to serve approximately 12-14 weeks.

The deadline for our Summer Program is April 14th, 2016, and the Program orientation is scheduled for Saturday, May 21st .  Candidates should send a resume and statement of interest to  Since we know each student’s schedule and circumstances are different, we are more than happy to consider requests for adjusted timelines as needed. Candidates must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old.

Feel free to share this information and the attached flyer with your students and colleagues.  Please let us know if you have any questions!


The OPC Student Volunteer Program
The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW • Washington, D.C.  20500



Earn Community Service Hours by helping feed the homeless

DESIGN+We arrive at the shelter around 5pm in time to get assignments and prepare to serve the evening meal to Central Union men in the spiritual program and then to the homeless overnighters.

Dr. Semmler is our guide, as he has been a volunteer and financial contributor to the shelter for over 15 years. His donations have earned him recognition at the shelter on their wall of donors. Dr. Semmler is also a benefactor of the Semmler Scholarship, specifically for Pathway students. To learn more about the scholarship, click here:

The NOVA van departs from the Annandale campus, no later than 3:35pm. We then proceed to the Alexandria Campus where we usually arrive around 4:15pm (without traffic). We then serve the first meal at 5:30pm and then 5:45pm…afterwards we depart DC and arrive back to AL around 6:30pm and AN by 7pm (depending on traffic, it could be later).

Attire: closed toe shoes (no flip flops), pants, or long shorts (no short shorts), no tank tops

Please contact me, Ericka Riggs by email ( to register for one of our fall semester trips.

Professor Richard D. Semmler Pathway Service Scholarship

This scholarship is open to Pathway students who demonstrate a commitment to serve others. Pathway students in general are the recipients of ongoing support and encouragement throughout their college careers. This scholarship rewards students who are ready to pay it forward! Recipients of this award will be required to spend 15 hours in service each semester. This service can be completed on campus or in the local community. Students must also maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.
Number of awards offered: 30+ Value of each award: $1000

The Pathway program sponsors trips to Dr. Semmler’s service projects at the Central Union Mission and Habitat for Humanity throughout the school year.

For more information on  service projects & dates, email Ms. Ericka Riggs,


Reading Volunteers Needed


Are you looking for a rewarding experience helping children?  Volunteers needed to work with the Book Buddies program as tutors for Alexandria Public School kindergarten and first grade students who need extra help in reading. Requires one hour ONCE OR TWICE a week during the school day or after school.  No experience needed.  Supervision and materials provided. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM GO TO . If you HAVE QUESTIONS or are interested IN SIGNING UP, please contact  Kristin Langlykke,, 703-622-4925 or Mercedes F. Gilliom,

Gleaning Trip – Thursday, October 9, 9:00am – 12:00pm (3 community service hrs earned)

What is gleaning? Volunteers go to local farms to pick fresh produce with  DCCK (DC Central Kitchen). DCCK uses the food that volunteers pick to prepare nutritious meals for 88 nearby homeless shelters, transitional homes, and nonprofit organizations, saving them money and nourishing their clients.

Cancellation Policy

They rely heavily on the hard work of their volunteers and many supporters in order to effectively serve the community.  If you schedule and DO NOT show up for your shift, they CANNOT serve the community to the best of their ability.

In the event that you cannot make your shift:

  • Please contact Ericka Riggs within 48 hours of trip (703-323-3289) or your volunteering privileges on Pathway sponsored trips will be revoked permanently!
    • Transportation will be provided; pick up locations and times will be provided at a later date, but estimate a early morning time (7am).
    • Please wear closed toed shoes and dress appropriately for the weather (summer days can be very hot in the fields)
    • Long socks or pants are recommended for anyone who may experience skin irritation as a result of contact with plants
    • Gardening gloves are recommended, if you have them
    • Bring lots of water

Sign up for our trip on Thursday, October 9, 9:00am – 12:00pm (3 community service hours)

Volunteer Profiles

sydVolunteer: Syd Bechet – AN

Organizations Served:  Habitat for Humanity, DC Central Kitchen, NOVA Green Club, Virginia Student Environmental Coalition, Energy Action Coalition, PETA, Pathway to the Baccalaureate.

Service Story: My Dream? To change the world! From gardening, to painting houses, to serving food, to organizing protests & marches, helping out in your community not only improves the lives of those around you, but your own. Life is shorter than you think, so stop wasting time, go out & make a difference. Leave your stamp out in this world. Your small actions might not seem like they change the world, but you will change the world in the eyes of those individuals whom you are helping out. Inspire one person at a time with your actions to go out & make a difference themselves. This is how you change the world. 


sandraVolunteer: Sandra Asomugha – AL

Organization Served: DC Central Kitchen, GMU leadership Conference

Service Story: Prepared and packaged meals for kids in DC public schools. I got to experience how they prepare healthy meals for the students and helped prepare them as well.
At the leadership conference, I learned so many leadership skills especially in order to be a good leader, you have to be a great follower and listener.


constantinaVolunteer: Constantina Terrazas – AN

Organization Served: Mental Wellness Conference

Service Story:At this conference I learned that having a positive and right state of mind can have a big difference in our future and how we interact with people in society. Helping people understand this and helping with greeting and helping out with the conference was a blessing.


ba3Volunteer: Behrad Azhandeh – AN

Organization Served: INOVA Alexandria Hospital

Position: Hospital Volunteer

Service Story: Worked in surgery center, volunteer office, emergency room, operation room, information desk and cafeteria. It was great seeing all aspects of the medical hospital because I plan on being a surgeon.


manuelVolunteer: Manuel Hernandez – LO

Event Served: Typhoon Relief Project

Position: Fundraiser

Service Story: I enjoyed spending both my time with Loudoun PAC members and collecting money for those who were affected by the Typhoon disaster. The Loudoun campus collected more than $130 on the first day. Everyone that volunteered that day felt proud and good. I felt good that I helped out many families in need.


Volunteer: Samantha Zamora-Cruz – MAZamora-Cruz Samantha

Organization Served: Manassas Park High School Marching Band

Position: Marching Band Guardian

Service Story: I manage the guard and attend the competitions. I pretty much do all the girly things, hair and make-up for competitions and home games. I’m also their guardians for the season.


arezo ettehadVolunteer: Arezo Ettehad- LO

Organization Served: Pathway to the Baccalaureate

Position: High School Liaison

Service Story: I got the highest number of kids ever from Briarwoods High School to sign up for the Pathway program.


leen saudVolunteer: Leen Saud – AN

Organization Served: Muslim Student Association

Position: Recruiter

Service Story: I helped at the MSA booth. I talked to people about the club and helped to recruit new members.


alan Volunteer: Alan Edzii – LO

Organization Served: Central Union Mission

Position: Food Server

Service Story: It was an awesome experience and I never thought of serving a meal at a homeless shelter. For a night I made those people feel like kings as they sat in their chairs waiting for their food.


Volunteer: Wendy Zurita Almanzawendy zurita – AL

Organization Served: Pathway/NOVA

Position: Welcome Week Assistant

Service Story: Had to help new students in case they were lost or had questions. had to hand out flyers for the upcoming events happening during “Welcome Week”.

Volunteer: Rebecca Frbeccaankel – AN

Organization Served: Central Union Mission/ DC Central Kitchen

Positions: Food Server and Preparer

Service Story: I was one of the people who delivered the food trays to the homeless men at the shelter. We served them and gave them what they wanted. It made me feel good to help those in need. I had a lot of fun and am planning to go every week!


jamilaVolunteer: Jamila Vizcaino – LO

Organization Served: A Forever Home – Animal Rescue

Position: Helper

Service Story: This is my second year volunteering with A Forever Home! I love animals especially dogs and I want to make sure that they have a happy life with a family that will love them and take care of them!

kellyVolunteer: Kelly Paredes – AN

Organizations Served: Central Union Mission, Habitat for Humanity, and Fairfax Park’s and Rec

Positions: Food server, gardener, lady bug

Service Story: I had the opportunity to serve people that are less fortunate who live in new homes built by Habitat for Humanity volunteers. Many of them don’t have enough money to add the finishing touches, i.e. landscape gardening to keep their homes and community looking good. I felt very glad to have served for this great cause.

I had the opportunity to serve food to the homeless at the Central Union Mission in D.C.. It was just amazing to see the homeless, so thankful for what they have received. It was just a great a experience.

Lastly, I got the chance to play with so many children and dress as a lady bug for Burke Lake Parks Ghost Train Halloween event. It was such a great way of spending Halloween by serving my community.


denysVolunteer: Denys Maravilla – LO

Organization Served: Reston Bible Church

Position: Landscaper

Service Story: I went out to blow leaves for homes of elderly and other needy families who can’t afford the upkeep. I liked that this organization was very organized and planned well how to do these houses. The team work was excellent. The people were friendly and nice. I enjoyed this experience in helping the community. I would love to do this experience again next year, if I get the chance.


LuzVolunteer: Luz Cordero Perdomo – AL

Organization Served: Literacy Council of Northern Virginia

Position: English Language Tutor

Service Story: It is great working with people of so many different cultures. I am glad to be able to help them in their process of learning English. I understand them because I went through the same situation in order to learn English.


LeydyVolunteer: Leydy Lujan Rojas

Organization Served: DC Central Kitchen’s Nutrition Lab

Position: Sous chef (chef’s assistant)

Service Story: Went to DC Central Kitchen with a group of students from NOVA. Had a quick food service class (food handling, knife technique, and hygiene). Helped the chefs package carrots in small plastic bags, prepared baked beans for service, and cut broccoli into small pieces. All done to service 5000 lunches to be served to DC school students. Finally, at the end they served us food ,and gave us snacks to take home.