The District of Columbia Housing Authority is lucky to have an employee who spends countless hours outside of the office trying to engage, enlighten, and encourage youth, primarily in Southwest, to be all they can and want to be.
That is why Cheryl Hansberry Moore is a 2017 City Year Idealist. The award ceremony was held March 29 at the Washington Hilton.
Every year City Year gathers about 500 people, individuals who aren’t often recognized for their work in the community, and honors them at the Idealism in Action Gala! An Idealist of the Year personifies the spirit of service and volunteerism to impact and make a difference in the lives of others.
“I just like giving back to my community. I feel I should give back and it is a way of giving back. It is so fulfilling for me. I was so shocked to get that award …it was nice,” Moore said. “I wasn’t looking for the recognition. I really like what I do. It does my heart well.”
Moore, a contracting officer and 21-year DCHA employee, is a native Washingtonian and active member in her Ward 6 community.
“Cheryl has become a fixture in the lives of her neighbors through her work with the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA) and the Southwest Comm-Unity Forum (SWCF)—organizations focused on empowering youth through educational /personal development activities,” read her nomination from Lorry Bonds, director of Administrative Services. “Her desire to positively impact the lives of youth is evidenced by the leadership roles she has played in both organizations over the last seven to eight years. Cheryl serves on the SWNA Youth Activities Task Force and the Scholarship Committee.”
Among the work with SWNA she is most proud of is being on the Youth Activities Task Force and assisting with youth computer literacy classes.
“Students from ages 6 to 17 sign up for computer courses that last six-weeks. They get a refurbished computer at the end of the classes. We have a graduation for them,” said Moore, who received a certificate of appreciation for the classes, held at the James Creek Resident Council Office. “When I look at the kids in the community, I feel they deserve these types of services. When a kid comes up to you not having a computer and then they get one when they finish the class, it is rewarding. They proved themselves and it is very rewarding.”
Moore also works on the SWNC Scholarship Committee, where she and her colleagues work with businesses and organizations in Ward 6 to raise money for college scholarships. Kids who are about to graduate or have already graduated and live in the 20024 ZIP code can apply for scholarships that go up to $2,500.
Some of her work with SWCF includes helping youth complete summer job applications and she recently received the SWCF 2016 Leadership Award for Outstanding Community Service.
“We actually get the kids in the community and...expose them to other environments as opposed to the one they are used to seeing every day,” said Moore. The organization took the children to Deep Creek Lake in Maryland one year. “We also fund the various events, like Valentine’s Day balls or Christmas events, where the community brings toys and kids come in get toys and there is a dinner.”
As the contracting officer at DCHA, Moore is responsible for executing all contracts, agreements, task orders and purchase orders on behalf of the executive director. She also conducts pre- and post-award functions for a variety of supply, service, and construction contracts.
“I actually like what I do. I like working with the staff, as well as the contractors that we deal with on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “It is very challenging and it is very exciting. It keeps me on my toes.”
Moore attended the ceremony with her husband, as well as Lorry Bonds and Director of Planning Kim Cole. Moore thanked DCHA, Bonds, Executive Director Adrianne Todman and everyone else involved in making her the Idealist of the Year.