Our Board of Directors kicked off the New Year with its first meeting of 2019 on January 10. We are happy to welcome new board member Najeeba Popal to the Board.
Najeeba is a Friendship Court resident who became a member of the community after arriving in the United States on a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) in 2015. She graduated from economic faculty in Afghanistan in 2009 and from then until 2014, worked in various positions on different United States projects in Afghanistan.
While moving to the United States was a long journey full of new experiences, Najeeba found the staff at Friendship Court friendly and helpful to her, her husband and two young children.
“After we moved to Friendship Court, it was easier for us. I was introduced to Ms. Claudette and I found her kind and friendly. This gave me encouragement to have more communication with people,” Mrs. Popal said.
Najeeba currently works part-time as a translator for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and hosts her own Afghan cooking class once a month in the community.
The beginning of 2019 also saw long-standing member Satyendra Singh Huja leave the Board. Mr. Huja served on the board since 2001 and is the president of Community Planning Associates, focusing on planning, design, and development. He worked as Director of Strategic Planning for the City of Charlottesville from 1998 to 2004. And, for 25 years prior to that, he served as the city’s Director of Planning and Community Development. In that role, he is credited with the creation of the Downtown Mall and with protecting green spaces throughout the city. He served on the Charlottesville City Council for eight years, including two terms as mayor. Mr. Huja supported solutions to affordable housing challenges, from affordable housing development to affordable home ownership, and we are grateful for his dedication and service.