Meet Allison Erdle and Leslie Ariail, multi-talented Alexandrians who have spent years serving their community through skills in fundraising and creating social connections. Allison and her mother Leslie are board members with the Washington Forrest Foundation, a private family foundation. While most of the Foundation’s attention is focused on Arlington, Allison and Leslie decided to direct support to a more local issue. With Leslie being a founding board member of ACT for Alexandria and their joint interest in the wellbeing of the youth of Alexandria, they have chose to champion ACT’s Youth Support Network.
While observing a growing set of circumstances that pull our young people into difficult and unfair choices, Leslie and Allison felt that it was important to help platform the Youth Support Network and the resources it is giving to our local young people. Allison explains, “We think it is important that we have a way through the Youth Support Network to have our youth be able to pull away from feeling that they have to make a decision that’s not in their best interest and give them other opportunities that will build their future as well as relationships that will strengthen their future.”
Allison and Leslie recognize that the community has a direct responsibility to our youth. “Every child that misses an opportunity to succeed in life… is a child or a youth that we failed,” states Allison. “And so as adults who have this ability to give, that’s really where we should start if we’re wanting to invest in the future of our country.”
For Leslie and Allison, the Youth Support Network is a sensible step in supporting kids in Alexandria. “We feel that every kid needs to have support to share challenges and this provides a space for that to happen and for youth to coordinate with their peers and adults makes so much sense.” Leslie and Allison understand that it takes a community as a whole to tackle these challenges together. “We are grateful to all the organizations in the City who support our youth and how we can better support them.”
ACT is incredibly thankful to Allison Erdle and Leslie Ariail for the support they give to our youth, and for the example they set in investing in our young people to create a brighter future for all of us!