The Potomac School on Jan. 14 honored Ericc Powell, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, as the recipient of its inaugural Potomac School Award for Exemplary Service.
Powell received the honor during a school-wide assembly honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“I am grateful that through my friendships, through my education, through my work with Habitat, I’ve been able not just to build houses and homes, but also to build relationships and communities, and be part of something greater,” Powell said.
The award honors someone outside the school community whose efforts reflect the school’s core values, demonstrates generosity of spirit and can serve to inspire Potomac’s students, school officials said.
Powell’s time with Habitat for Humanity has spanned nearly two decades and given him opportunities to serve international, national and local communities. He volunteers as a skilled craftsman on Habitat construction sites and supports the organization’s ReStores, where donated items are sold to support the organization’s mission.
Powell has devoted his life to service, said Head of School John Kowalik.
“After college, he cycled across the country to raise money and awareness for affordable housing – a cause that he remains passionate about today,” Kowalik said. “In discussing his commitment to volunteerism, Ericc asserts that ‘Meaningful service is not working for others, but working with others in partnership,’” he continued. “That’s something we want our students to understand – the importance of building relationships and working together to effect positive change.”
Powell has been employed with AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteerism and national service, since 2009. As a training specialist, he currently trains AmeriCorps members and supervisors in the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program, which fights poverty in the United States.
Candidates for the new award were nominated by members of the Potomac School community and vetted by a nine-person selection committee that included parent, student, faculty, alumni and trustee representation.