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FairfaxMcLean youth, organization win state volunteerism awards

McLean youth, organization win state volunteerism awards

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Gov. Northam on Nov. 23 announced the winners of the 2021 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards, two of whom hail from McLean.

The annual awards program recognizes outstanding contributions by individual volunteers and organizations on behalf of Virginia residents.

The McLean winners were:

• A student group called Codefy, which won the award for Outstanding Education Organization. Students formed the group after seeing a lack of female representation in technology fields and a scarcity of computer-programming courses in their own school.


Codefy provides free computer-programming courses to middle- and high-school students. In just two years, the organization has grown to include more than 600 volunteers, offer more than 10 courses reflecting a variety of programming languages and now serves 600 students in Virginia and across the country.

• Flight student T.J. Kim, who received the award for Outstanding Youth Volunteer.

Kim said his flight training became one of the only activities he could still enjoy when his school and the lacrosse season were shut down due to COVID-19. He created Operation SOS (Supplies Over the Skies), which transported personal protective equipment to rural and community hospitals in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia.

To date, Kim has completed 22 missions and has sourced and delivered nearly 85,000 personal protective items and ventilator supplies to 21 locations.

Other award recipients included:

• CrossOver Healthcare Ministry (Richmond), Outstanding Community Organization.
• Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church and Church of the Incarnation (Charlottesville), Outstanding Faith-Based Organization.
• Doswell Limited Partnership (Ashland), Outstanding Small Business.
• Capital One Coders (Richmond), Outstanding Corporation.
• Betty Robinette (Wytheville), Outstanding Senior Volunteer.
• Mechele Hairston (Chesapeake), Outstanding Adult Volunteer.
• Lucy Cummins (Richmond), Outstanding Young Adult Volunteer.
• George and Kim Melnyk (Virginia Beach), Outstanding Volunteer Family.

“These awards highlight the selfless work and meaningful contributions of these remarkable individuals and groups, as well as the ingenuity and determination they faced by serving their community during the pandemic,” Northam said in a media statement.

“The past year illustrated what we already knew – that there is a great need and impact to be had from community-led efforts of wraparound support,” added Virginia Department of Social Services Commissioner S. Duke Storen.

The award recipients “encompass the incredible service of the more than two million volunteers that give their time and talents each year to help their communities,” said Julie Strandlie, who chairs the Virginia Governor’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism.

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