Honors College Connects(HCC)

Leadership Fairfax is proud to partner with Mason Honors College on Honors College Connects. Supported by Mason Honors College faculty and Leadership Fairfax alumni, students are selected to join a team. During their fall and spring semester, the student teams plan, organize and execute a selected project benefiting a local community organization and its stakeholders. Projects are selected from proposals originally submitted to Leadership Fairfax’s Emerging Leadership Institute. Through this partnership, future leaders are being cultivated by providing them an opportunity to enhance their leadership skills through experiential learning while developing their passion for community engagement combining education and inspiration!

Watch this video on community engagement by Honor College students through Women Giving Back, a direct result of a 2013 HCC project for HomeAid.

“I want to emphasize to you the importance of this team and this project to the Foundation. We were so impressed with their dedication and output that it has affected the Board in a very positive way. At the same time the students were working on a Fund Raising Plan, we were working on a Marketing Plan and now we are ready to put those together at our next meeting. None of this would have been possible without the engagement of this team. Seldom have I ever worked with a team that has accomplished more than they have.”

- Peter Clark, President, Northern Virginia Mental Health Foundation


COMPLETED PROJECTS                                                 In partnership with:          Mason Honors College



Arts Council of Fairfax County

Fairfax, VA

The Faces of the Arts in Fairfax - Social Media and Crowd Sourced Video Campaign

HCC ‘15

To build grass roots support and awareness for the arts in the county, the team was tasked with developing a social media campaign and a crowd sourced video. 


Computer CORE

Alexandria, VA

Employment Opportunities, Trends and Pathways for Success 2016-2019: A Research Project

HCC ‘15

The team researched data on metro DC/Northern Virginia current employment opportunities and projected trends with an eye to comparing these opportunities and trends to the ‘typical Computer CORE student/jobseeker’.  In addition, they researched and developed career/ educational pathways that typical CORE students might use to gain employment.  Findings were formally presented to CORE’s board and other key stakeholders.


Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services

Alexandria, VA

Good Shepherd Housing Video

HCC ‘15

The team was tasked with creating a video that convincingly demonstrates the impact of Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services’ (GSH) programs on its clients’ lives. The video was presented on May 2, 2015 to the attendees at GSH Annual Gala event, and then uploaded to the GSH website as a starting foca point for future video marketing efforts.  The team also delivered a document summarizing relevant comments from the clients they interviewed for GSH staff.

The Women's Center

Vienna, VA

Micro-Environmental Scan for Teen Mental-Health Wellness Education and Counseling Programs for Northern Virginia

HCC’ 15

The team surveyed local high schools to collect essential data to help the The Women’s Center develop new teen mental health education and counselig practices that are unique and not duplicative of existing programs in the county, embody the characteristics of successful teen mental health programs and respond to the interests and demographics of Generation Z teens.


Leadership Fairfax

Impact Report for the Emerging Leaders Institute, 2002 – present

The team surveyed nonprofits that benefited from ELI and HCC teams since 2002 to capture the impact these teams have made in the Fairfax County community.  A report with results of this impact study was presented to Leadership Fairfax staff.


Northern Virginia Mental Health Foundation

Planning to Make Money When Money Matters

The team researched fundraising strategies and put together a 3 year, month by month, fundraising plan.  They identified and contacted possible fundraising entities to gauge interest in their willingness to contribute to this cause.  They also provided ideas for fundraising events and partnerships.


James Mott Community Assistance Program

Awareness and Fundraising Campaign

The team was asked to raise awareness to recruit volunteers and implement fundraising strategies.  The team created two videos showing JMCAP services.  They also offered JMCAP an enhanced new logo.


Brain Injury Services

Marketing and Communications Strategy for BIS 25th Anniversary

The team identified media contacts and created marketing strategy/ press releases.



Fairfax Symphony Orchestra

“Street Team" Marketing Plan

The team was tasked with creating and distributing surveys to discover the demographics of the FSO audience, analyze the data for presentation to FSO, and plan and host a pre-concert event targeted toward college students to spread awareness of FSO and expand its audience.


Home Aid

Communications Audit

The team was tasked with evaluating of all communications – print and online materials - to determine effectiveness of messaging and branding; analyze and research impact and results of the communication and making recommendations of what to eliminate, change, add to the communications activities. The team ended up focusing mainly on printed materials and developed materials including a tri-fold pamphlet and a press release.



Workforce Connection Plan – Workforce Development Center Map

UCM was looking at improving their system for accessing employment services at their Workforce Center, thereby increasing the number of clients successfully served. They tasked the team with identifying potential new job sources for clientele matching their demographics of individuals with limited education and skills. The team research of areas of job needs and opportunities in Washington DC and Alexandria and mapped it out in relationship to public transportation.


Computer Core

Development of Educational Module: "Online Job-Seeking Resources and Strategies"

The team was tasked with researching and learning about various online job-seeking resources and strategies that would be useful to CORE students and community members who are job seeking. They created a learning module of three approximately 2-hour training sessions to include PowerPoint presentations and hands-on exercises for the clients. Their project gave CORE clients the tools to actively using online job-seeking resources and strategies, to allow for CORE clients to gain employment and help move their families to self-sufficiency.


Homestretch, Inc.

Client tracking System and Reunion for Graduates

Homestretch empowers homeless families with children under age 18 in Virginia to attain permanent housing and self-sufficiency by giving them the skills, knowledge and hope they need to become productive participants in the community. Team will help develop a tracking system that allows Homestretch to track the progress and overall results of Homestretch clients throughout their time in the Homestretch program as well as after they graduate. They also will help plan and implement a reunion event for the graduated clients of Homestretch.


New Hope Housing, Inc

Building an Evidence-Based Case for Addressing Homelessness in Our Community

New Hope Housing provides services to homeless families and single adults in northern Virginia. The ELI team will develop a financial case and document why preventing and ending homelessness is an important and sound investment of public and private resources. Work will include reviewing reports and information on homelessness, working through how various data elements interrelate, and building a document/presentation that will be useful to homeless services providers. The final report will be available to homeless services providers in the community for their use.


Langley Residential Support Services

Fairfax County Community Resource Guide

Langley serves individuals with intellectual disabilities in Fairfax County by providing comprehensive residential and community support programs. The team created a resource guide for Langley that will enable counsels unfamiliar with Fairfax County and NoVA to assist individuals they serve and take advantage of their community.


Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVCR)

Video Information Series

NVRC provides free services for individuals of all ages who are deaf, deaf-blind, late-deafened, or hard of hearing and their family members and co-workers, educators, interpreters or transliterators. In addition they assist nonprofit organizations, government agencies and other entities that serve, employ or interact with these individuals. Brief informational videos were created for a website series about services offered to increase community understanding about programs and services provided.


Reston Drop in Center

Program Sustainability Study

The Reston Drop in Center provides recreational activities, computer classes and free lunches to mental health consumers. A feasibility study on either opening a snack cart at the NW Center or operation an in-house fulfillment center was taken on by the team with recommendations for programs’ sustainability.


Leadership Fairfax

Developing a partnership between Leadership Fairfax and Mason Honors College around student community engagement

Mason Honors students developed recommendations submitted in a proposal to Leadership Fairfax and Mason Honors College outlining a partnership modeled after the Community Service Project component of the Emerging Leaders Institute. The team collected information on what resources were available to form a partnership that would benefit Mason Honors College, Leadership Fairfax, and Mason Honors Students. Honors College Connects allows Mason Honors students to gain leadership experiences within the larger community.




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