Volunteer Of The Year Awards
As we’ve expanded across the globe, our mission to give back remains the same. Our employees promote this mission of delivering a better world by donating time and energy to projects that improve our communities.
Giving back is what drives us and we constantly evaluate our communities’ ever-changing needs, providing support to educational, cultural, and civic organizations in the areas where our employees live and work.
As a continued reflection of this pursuit to give back, we recently held our 3rd Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards. This program recognizes and celebrates our most dedicated and inspirational employees who engage in meaningful volunteer activities in our local communities. They represent our local presence, build local brand, and inspire employee engagement.
Community is at the core of who we are and what we do.
Many employees enjoy working at Parsons because we have a strong sense of corporate social responsibility and employ individuals who are making the world a better place.
Awards were presented in three different categories to best exemplify the social efforts of the volunteers:
Bardia H. — Changing the World Award. Bardia won the top award for our 2020 Volunteer of the Year competition. As Chapter President for Engineers Without Borders in San Diego, Bardia helps to bring basic living needs—clean water, sanitation services, and housing—to communities in need. He helped build 10 permanent homes in a fishing village in India, bring sanitary latrines to a farming village in Senegal, and update a small community’s water treatment operation in Cazadero, CA. He’s overseeing a 20-person team to design a clean water system in Amazonian Peru as part of the Chapter’s newest international program. Bardia is working toward the launch of the organization’s first mentorship/internship program by mid-year.
Mike F. — Making A Difference Awards. Michael volunteers with the George M. Hampton Foundation (GMHF), a non-profit affiliate of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, which runs programs and activities that improve the lives of individuals, particularly youth, in Prince William County, Virginia. He serves as the chairman for Omega U, a youth mentoring program, and he designs, coordinates, and facilitates funding and travel for more than 250 under-represented youth for college trips, STEM courses/events, and mentoring events. Michael established a predominately female STEP team of minority students within the Prince William County Public School District. In 2019, Michael was recognized as Omega Man of the Year in recognition of his extraordinary contributions.
Franco P. — Making A Difference Award. Last fall, Franco took a 4-week unpaid leave to assist Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) with a technical site survey and assessment campaign in Rwanda. He traveled throughout western Rwanda surveying potential bridge sites and assessing their technical feasibility, as part of B2P’s effort to complete preliminary designs and cost estimates for the upcoming fiscal year. Prior to that, Franco volunteered as a Bridge Corps fellow for B2P and worked in Haiti leading repair work on bridges damaged during Hurricane Matthew. He oversaw the construction of the Rio Grande Bridge in Panama in preparation for Parsons’ 2017 build. Franco also served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Paraguay from 2010 to 2012.
Winston C. — Hometown Superhero Award. As the director of the Alvin Drew Space Camp in Albuquerque, NM, Winston oversees the aviation and space programs for youths aged 14-17. The free-of-charge camp enables kids to live their dreams by visiting missile ranges, research labs, and NASA facilities; flying a V-22 simulator and completing a Mars mission simulation at the Challenger Center; launching rockets to 3,000 feet; and meeting with Astronaut Alvin Drew, who has completed two shuttle missions. Winston leads an all-volunteer team of instructors and chaperones for the 9-day traveling program; reviews applications and selects students; coordinates security access secure installations; handles dormitory arrangements; and arranges tours, all while keeping the kids hydrated in the high desert!
Larisa E. — Hometown Superhero Award. Larisa has been a proud ACE mentor for 10 years with the ACE Mentoring Program in the San Francisco Bay Area. The non-profit engages high school students to pursue careers in the A/E/C industry, thus cultivating the next generation of engineers and leaders. An ACE student herself in high school, Larisa’s interest in volunteering was sparked by ACE mentors who provided the coaching and encouragement to pursue her degree in architecture. She was featured in ENR’s Annual ACE Mentor Program Yearbook in 2019 and was profiled as a leading woman in the STEM field by the California Department of Education in 2013.
Muhsin K. — Hometown Superhero Award. Muhsin is the face of Parsons when it comes to giving back! As a volunteer with the Dubai Club for People of Determination in Dubai, he spends his time helping athletes prepare for and participate in the Dubai World Para Athletics Championships. He’s also been spotted volunteering at Anima Hospital’s half marathon with the UAE Creator Team; distributing food and medals at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon to support the Al Jalila Foundation, arranging the New Year’s Night Event for the Emirates Foundation; and participating in Desert Clean Up to improve camels’ habitat in the Al Qudra Area.
Keith P. — Hometown Superhero Award. Since 2011, Keith has volunteered as a clown for Shriners Hospital for Children, an organization that helps children from all walks of life with debilitating diseases, burns, and other ailments free of charge for families who cannot afford it. Keith loves to entertain the children with his funny jokes, magic tricks, juggling, and balloon animal making skills. As a member of the Aleppo Shriners Clown Unit based in Wilmington, MA, he also assists with fundraising for 22 hospitals in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Keith was awarded the Master Clown Status by the Northeast Clown Institute; the Aleppo Clown of the Year in 2015 and 2019; and the Funnybone Award in 2014.
Juliet P. — Hometown Superhero Award. An avid cyclist with a passion for nature and trails. Juliet volunteered on the Pleasant Run Committee, a community test force that focuses on greenway improvements. That work led her to co-chair People for Pleasant Run, a group formed to ensure the protection of a crucial urban waterway on which many neighborhoods depend. When a public works project threatened the greenway, Juliet met with local officials and designers, presented at public meetings, and performed public outreach. The group’s efforts were successful! The city revised its plans with a more sustainable design that ultimately is a win/win for both the city and the local community.
Naor W. — Hometown Superhero Award. Naor volunteers his time with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) as the Director of Recruiting and Retention for the Pennsylvania Wing, which has 1,850 volunteers in 47 subsidiary outposts, called squadrons. He’s led two working groups as they examined specific areas of concern and developed recommendations for the Command Group. He developed additional tools that led to a trend reversal where instead of losing members, membership has increased. The Civil Air Patrol awarded Naor the Meritorious Service Award and the Commander’s Commendation Award for his outstanding duty performance.
Parsons will donate to the charity of choice for each winner and provide paid time off to volunteer in their communities.
Congratulations to all the award winners and to all our employees who continue to make an impact!