Americorps VISTA and USC Volunteers

We are pleased to introduce two exciting volunteer programs at A Community of Friends.

Yajaira Gomez and Leslie Ortiz, USC School of Social Work student volunteers are excited to welcome tenants to the Help-Portrait event at the Avalon Apartments.

Assistant Director of Services James Ramirez established a partnership with the USC School of Social Work for up to seven (7) students to complete their mandatory field practicum of 1000 hours by working with tenants at our properties. The students gain valuable experience with case management, critical thinking, tenant advocacy, emergency procedures, crisis management, and teamwork. These students are a tremendous asset to A Community of Friends because of the added manpower and additional support at ACOF properties. Each volunteer will have a caseload of 5 to 10 tenants based on their capability.

Additionally, two (2) AmeriCorps VISTA members joined ACOF’s team. They will be working with us for a year to help us develop new systems and programs at ACOF.

Aide Duran is our Volunteer Coordinator, working with our Fund Development Department. She will be helping set up and formalize ACOF’s volunteer program, coordinating volunteers both from the external community, as well as with our tenants and ACOF staff. Aide has a pet turtle named Brody that enjoys eating shrimp, banana, romaine lettuce, and likes to make a lot of noise in the mornings which makes him a really efficient alarm clock.

Raumia (Mia) Fahad is our Sustainability Coordinator. She is based within the Housing Department but her work will span Asset/Property Management and Services departments. Her focus will be on sustainable and green building operations, and she will take the lead in formalizing and standardizing our gardening program at our buildings. Originally intending to be an astrophysicist, Mia discovered in an anthropology class that she was more interested in environmental issues, security, and focusing on shaping a future for planet Earth. Thanks to all for the gift of your time and talent!