Journeys to Reston
In March 2019 the Reston Historic Trust and Museum (RHT) and Reston Community Center (RCC) will hosted a panel discussion of remarkable journeys to Reston. Presentations from panelists –Lindsay Trout, Principal of Terraset Elementary; Rizwan Jaka of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS); Medelyn A. Ortiz Lopez, Recreation Specialist III of Southgate Community Center; and Sara, Reston resident preparing to move from a shelter into her own home.
One of Robert E. Simon’s original goals for Reston was “That the importance and dignity of each individual be the focal point for all planning, and take precedence over large-scale concepts.” He didn’t use the word diversity, but with each individual he clearly intended to include all without exception. The journeys our panelists have made to Reston unfold the lived experience of that vision in Reston today.
Lindsay Trout moved to Reston at age nine after her parents’ divorce because of the diverse housing stock available and has stayed in Reston since. Trout attended Terraset Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School. She has spent her teaching career in Fairfax County Public Schools and is currently the Principal of Terreset Elementary in Reston.
All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)
The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), one of the largest Muslim communities/mosques in the DC Metro Area, is a non-profit that serves over 6,000 families. In 1981, ADAMS began conducting Eid holiday prayers at the Pinecrest Community Center (Southgate Recreation Center) in Reston. This expanded over the years to include Sunday school and potlucks. They have participated in various events at Reston Community Center and have conducted Friday Prayers in United Christian Parish in Reston. Friday Prayers, Ramadan Prayers, and some Eid holiday prayers have taken place in the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston as of 2008. Rizwan Jaka, Chair, Board of Trustees of ADAMS, will represent ADAMS on the panel.
By Storycatcher Productions.
The programs of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum are supported in part by Reston Community Center
Medelyn A. Ortiz Lopez
Medelyn A. Ortiz Lopez came to the United States at age nine. She attended Dogwood Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School. She formed part of Southgate Community Center for the past 11 years as a participant, then as a volunteer and currently as staff. She is pursuing a career in nursing.
Six years ago, Sara, age 15, and her parents immigrated from Ethiopia after receiving U.S. visas in the diversity lottery. Her father is blind and partially paralyzed. The family has no outside support; Sara and her mother are his primary caregivers. Trying to juggle work, school, and caring for her father’s needs, the family has struggled with homelessness. Sara attended six different high schools in four years. Being the only English speaker in the family, Sara had to take on many adult roles in her family early on, helping her parents as much as she could. Today, she and her family are preparing to move from a shelter into their own home. She is working on becoming a U.S. citizen. She hopes to earn her GED so she can attend college and become an engineer. She is brave, resilient, and determined to succeed.