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Gayle Robinson and Katherine Sullivan, two young women who call Reston home, are working with the Peace Corps to improve the lives of people in Africa and South America.

Robinson, a graduate of Christopher Newport University, is raising money for a new junior high school in Ghana, in West Africa.

The new school will serve students who currently attend class in a nearby town, in a primary school that averages more than 50 students per classroom, Robinson said.

“The community began the construction of a three-unit junior high school block years ago. Due to limited funding, however, the community was unable to complete the new structure,” said Robinson, who has lived and worked in Ghana since 2012. “Students now have to walk over an hour each way to an overcrowded school … with a poor performance record.”

Using funds raised through the Peace Corps Partnership Program, which supports Peace Corps volunteer community projects worldwide, Robinson and her community will buy materials to build three additional classrooms, offices for teachers and a room for storage.

Sullivan, who has a master’s degree from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, is working to build a playground in her community in Suriname, in northern South America.

Sullivan’s project is part of an effort to promote exercise and provide the children with structured afterschool activities by giving them a safe place to play.

“Children often play with found objects, such as nails, rocks, old car parts, and razor blades in locations that have a variety of natural and manmade physical hazards,” said Sullivan, who has lived and worked in Suriname since May 2011.

Sullivan and her community will use PCPP funds to buy equipment and construct the playground.

To receive funding through the PCPP, a community must make a 25-percent contribution to the total project cost and outline success indicators for the individual projects. To contribute to the PCPP, visit

New director for Tysons Corner real estate firm

Bart Drummond has joined Cushman & Wakefield as an executive director and member of the Tenant Advisory Group, based in the firm’s Tysons Corner office. Drummond will assist tenant clients with commercial real estate solutions throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Drummond earned a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and a master’s degree in real estate finance from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, he was a managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Cushman & Wakefield is the world’s largest privately held commercial real estate services firm.

Fairfax-based bank promotes three

First Virginia Community Bank has promoted Michael Nassy to senior vice president, chief credit officer. The bank also promoted Steffany Watson to senior vice president of treasury management and Joshua Steele to senior vice president of commercial lending.

Nassy is responsible for the safety and soundness of the bank’s loan portfolio and supporting its managed growth. He joined FVCbank in September 2012 with more than 12 years of experience in commercial lending and commercial real estate.

Watson has served in treasury management since joining FVCbank in 2007. A 24-year veteran of the banking industry, she has experience in branch banking, commercial lending and merchant credit card.

Steele joined FVCbank in 2009. A Fairfax resident, he has more than 12 years of banking experience and specializes in commercial real estate financing.

Reston attorney honored for service

Jackson Lewis LLP, a workplace law firm, has announced that John Bryson II, a partner in the Reston office, has been recognized by the BTI Consulting Group as a Client Service All-Star for 2013.

Bryson has more than 30 years of experience as a trial lawyer and in managing complex employment discrimination, diversity, and civil rights investigations and assessments.

An adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, Bryson received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

He is a member of the American Bar Association Litigation and Labor/Employment Sections and the Society for Human Resource Management Diversity Steering Committee. He is also a member of Virginia’s Medical Malpractice Review Panel.

Vienna Realtor is tops

Ron Glass, a broker with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.’s commercial division, has been named Top Producer for January 2013.

A real estate professional for more than 20 years, Glass is an active member of the Virginia Association of Realtors, Greater Washington Commercial Association of Realtors, Southeast Fairfax Development Corp., and the Economic Development Committee for the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

ounty nonprofits win Jack Kent Cooke grants

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awarded its 2013 Good Neighbor Grants to nine nonprofit organizations serving the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area.

Established last year, the Good Neighbor Grants program seeks to strengthen ties with local nonprofits that provide educational and enrichment opportunities to students with financial need.

Three of the recipients are from Fairfax County.

American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of Annandale received $16,000 to support full- or partial-tuition scholarships for 30 to 40 musically talented, economically disadvantaged young people accepted into one of AYPO’s four youth orchestras.

College Access Fairfax received $11,600 to support a Mobile Financial Aid Champion, who will serve five high-need high schools by providing one-on-one financial aid assistance to 350 12th-graders and their parents.

George Mason University Foundation of Fairfax received $20,000 for the GMU School of Dance, to provide financial assistance for 90 percent of the program cost to 10 high school dancers from low-income families.

“In partnership with our 2013 grantees, we are touching the lives of over 1,600 low- to moderate-income students in our own back yard and helping them reach their full potential,” said Emily Froimson, vice president of programs at the foundation.

Founded in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke, the foundation has awarded $100 million in scholarships to more than 1,900 students.

McLean foundation awards grants to six

The McLean Community Foundation recently awarded grants to six organizations that serve the greater McLean community.

A substantial portion of the support took the form of challenge grants designed to leverage the foundation’s resources and to encourage other donors to participate in the projects.

The grantees are Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, $3,500 (challenge); Traveling Players Ensemble, $5,000 (challenge); Alternative House, $1,800; Specially Adapted Resource Clubs, $3,760; McLean Orchestra, $2,500; and Share Incorporated, $1,695.

Apply for college scholarships

College Access Fairfax offers nine scholarships to high school seniors who can demonstrate need. Application deadline is April 12. Visit