About the Spirit of Community Award & Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez
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 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. Violand-Sanchez 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.
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.
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. For more information, visit www.arlcf.org.
Arlington Community Foundation
818 N. Quincy Street, Suite 103
Arlington, VA 22203