On January 14, The Potomac School announced the recipient of its inaugural Potomac School Award for Exemplary Service, designed to recognize individuals in the wider community who are making an important difference through service to others. Ericc Powell, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, received the award during a school-wide assembly honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Powell’s time with Habitat for Humanity has spanned nearly two decades and given him opportunities to serve international, national, and local communities. He volunteers as a skilled craftsman on Habitat construction sites and supports the organization’s ReStores, where donated items are sold to support Habitat’s mission.
The Potomac School Award for Exemplary Service honors an individual outside the school community whose efforts reflect the school’s core values, demonstrates generosity of spirit, and can serve to inspire Potomac’s students.
Head of School John Kowalik notes, “Ericc Powell has devoted his life to service. After college, he cycled across the country to raise money and awareness for affordable housing – a cause that he remains passionate about today.” Kowalik adds, “In discussing his commitment to volunteerism, Ericc asserts that ‘meaningful service is not working for others, but working with others in partnership.’ That’s something we want our students to understand – the importance of building relationships and working together to effect positive change.
Powell has been employed with AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteerism and national service, since 2009. As a training specialist, he currently trains AmeriCorps members and supervisors in the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program, which fights poverty in the United States.
Upon receiving the award, Powell said, “I am grateful that through my friendships, through my education, through my work with Habitat, I’ve been able not just to build houses and homes, but also to build relationships and communities, and be part of something greater.”
Candidates for the new award were nominated by members of the Potomac School community and vetted by a nine-person selection committee that included parent, student, faculty, alumni, and trustee representation.