Sharing how Spring2ACTion is
impacting our community!
Share Your Impact & Make Connections

We want to hear how participating in Spring2ACTion has affected your organization. Submit your story to be featured on the site and attract new donors while highlighting your amazing work!
Communities in Schools of NOVA

"I tell my kids all the time that I’m proud of them, that they’re capable, that just because things are hard now doesn’t mean they’ll be hard forever."
 
Steffan Barahona's senior year of college was quiet. The pandemic emptied out Washington College campus and classes were virtual, leaving him a lot of time to think about how he could most meaningfully apply his psychology degree after graduation. He kept coming back to a big reason he was graduating from college to begin with, his CIS NOVA site coordinator from high school, Amanda Gallardo. 

Steffan met Amanda at a FAFSA assistance night where she was guiding families through the federal aid application process. "And after that I was in her office like, twenty times a week. For the first time in my life I felt like someone was listening to me," he says.
 
Amanda's open door policy is something Steffan is replicating as a site coordinator specializing in re-engagement. “The number one thing I tell my students when I first meet them is that I am an alum of CIS," Steffan says. "I still live in the community, too, so I can really relate to what my students are experiencing." 

Steffan case manages 25 students who are most at risk for dropping out after the extended period of virtual learning. If CIS NOVA is a safety net for at-risk students, Steffan is the safety net beneath the safety net; an extra layer of protection made necessary by the pandemic, which has caused some kids to fall behind.

Steffan describes his work as a site coordinator with two interesting verbs: Unraveling and reaffirming. "I'm unraveling years of students' negative self and academic perception. Then I'm reaffirming their abilities." The school environment, he notes, can be focused on what students can't do. But Steffan focuses on what students can do, "That’s what drives me in my job, I tell my kids all the time that I’m proud of them, that they’re capable, that just because things are hard now doesn’t mean they’ll be hard forever." 

Thanks to ACT, Spring2ACTion and generous donors, CIS NOVA has grown in Alexandria, from serving students in one ACPS school - to four schools, including Alexandria City High School. We ensure that students have a caring adult, like Steffan, to turn to - and everything they need: basic needs, access to technology, healthcare and social emotional support so they can see a path to a bright future. 
 
In schools, in the community - and everywhere in between, CIS NOVA is All In For Kids. 
Ways To Maximize Your Spring2ACTion Impact

Are you looking for ways to build buzz about your organization as we get closer to Alexandria's biggest giving day? Here are some ways to make the most of Spring2ACTion:

  • Submit an impact story - tell us about what Spring2ACTion has meant to your organization and bring new donors to your page
  • Access trainings - watch the recordings or sign up for the "What's in Your Toolkit: Growing Your Team" training on March 23
  • Add to the event page - are you hosting an event for Spring2ACTion? Tell us about it and we'll feature it on our event page
  • Explore the nonprofit toolkit - discover social media graphics, sample emails, FAQs, and more
Grant Funding Available
Tax Prep & Earned Income Tax Credit Mini Grants

Grants are now available to support outreach efforts to nonprofits that help constituents prepare for the tax filing process. Organizations can apply for grants up to $3,000 and applications will be approved on a rolling basis.
Questions about Spring2ACTion? Contact Brandi Yee at brandi.yee@actforalexandria.org