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An open heart symbol adorning shirts, charms, and wooden signs is the icon of the Vienna-based Rustic Love organization. What started as a pandemic project to embrace the community has amassed a life of its own and stretched across the county. Now an official 501c3 nonprofit, Rustic Love has…

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Chelsea Hu has been the head of an innovative art non-profit that stretches across the globe in participation and impact, for nearly three years; all of it accomplished while under the age of 18. Hu’s idea was born from an abiding love for art and was conjured up at a leadership camp hosted …

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Being an au pair is something that made sense for Max Kaus, who has always been surrounded by children. He grew up with three younger siblings, as well as coached soccer — noting that watching kids grow and learn something new has always been really rewarding.

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Michael Astudillo began kindergarten at Columbia Elementary in Annandale in 1982. Fast forward 39 years, and Astudillo is now beginning his first year as the principal of the school. While Astudillo has certainly changed over the years, his fondness for the school has not.

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Catalyst.org reports that in the automotive industry, women made up the majority of office and clerical workers in 2018 at 78.4 percent but were underrepresented among higher level positions like managers, which was only 18.1 percent, and executive and senior level officials and managers whi…

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Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) was founded in 1973 by Anne Lewis of Loudoun County, after she found stray dogs on her property and could not find anywhere to take the dogs without the possibility of them being euthanized. So she started her own no-kill shelter and created FOHA. 

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Sophia Brown is a rising junior at James Madison High School in Vienna, and despite being only half-way through her high school career, she is making major strides in helping communities across the world. Brown’s parents met in the Peace Corps, and their unwavering dedication to foreign serv…

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Rebecca Cousins has worked at West Springfield High School as the school’s employment and transition representative for six years. In this role, Cousins helps special education students prepare for the transition from high school to life after. She assists them with career and college explor…

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Sixteen-year-old Prasidha Padmanabhan is a rising junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She recently founded the Women for Education, Advocacy and Rights (WEAR) organization which is a nonprofit dedicated to advocating for the rights, equality and representation …

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Lauren Kinne has been teaching AP and freshman biology at W.T. Woodson High School for six years and in Fairfax County for 15. Kinne is the Environmental Club sponsor and faculty advisor at Woodson, a club which allows students to get hands-on experience working in nature. 

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Rising eighth graders Veda Murthy of Rachel Carson Middle School and Varsha Gunda of Nysmith School knew that climate change was a critical issue. Armed with their passion about the environment and knowledge of biology, the students were ready to create a solution. 

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Every seventeen years, the Brood X cicadas emerge from underground in the billions to swarm across many Eastern states, including Virginia, of course. While many people may fear their beady red eyes or dread their loud songs, Fairfax County insect biologist Andy Lima is here to remind us of …

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Mohammed Saffouri loves film, but was expected to pursue a career in computer science. Halfway through his studies at George Mason University Saffouri decided to turn to that love in spite of a lack of support from family and friends. The results of that turn have gotten him experience direc…

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Thank you to the whole community for helping me to tell the heartwarming stories of the people of this community