Volunteer Spotlight: Sarah Bahl

This month, get to know N Street Village volunteer Sarah Bahl.  Sarah began volunteering in our community in February 2011 and she has shared her time and talent with a number of our programs.  Sarah has led a film class in our Wellness Center, serves breakfast in Bethany Women’s Center, and teaches financial literacy classes in our Education and Employment Center.  Let’s get to know Sarah:

I run a nonprofit, A Woman’s Bridge Foundation, and I am an Adjunct Professor of Film and Media Arts at American University. I attended high school at Georgetown Visitation, college at American University, and graduate school at Georgetown University. I have learned an incredible amount from N Street Village and am very honored to be a part of their community. N Street Village is truly a home to all.

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the D.C. area? I was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, where my father was stationed abroad with work for the U.S. government. Our family moved from Africa to Washington, D.C. when I was nine years old. I remembered thinking squirrels were such a novelty. I would point to one and say to my sister, “Look, a squirrel!” Yes, it was certainly an adjustment coming from Africa where we had lizards but no squirrels.

What is your favorite thing about living in D.C.? My favorite thing about living in D.C., (not squirrels) is the variety of people here, and how interesting the conversations can be. D.C. really attracts interesting and well-traveled people. It is also a city where no one person can be overlooked because everyone’s experience in this city is different and important. Plus, I look forward to the Post’s Peep Contest, every year. I don’t know if I could ever be that detailed or creative with a diorama as I have seen but perhaps some year I should try.

What is your favorite D.C. monument? I honestly like the merry-go-round on the Mall.  I feel the merry-go-round brings a sense of whimsy to a city that can be a little too serious. It’s nice to see a simple childhood joy on the mall, as it starts with the children.  

On a Saturday evening you will find me at…a house party or a barbecue. I love just spending time with my friends, enjoying barbecue and the summertime.

When I have free time I most enjoy…going for a run. I love to run, from Tenleytown to the Cathedral and back. It is refreshing to just put on my running shoes and go.

What is the book you last read? Winnie-the-Pooh.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village? I love the spirit of N Street Village. The hope it instills in women of all backgrounds and ages. I love to volunteer because doing so makes me a part of that hope.

Why it is important to support N Street Village? It is incredibly important to support N Street Village, as everyone is part of a larger community, and getting involved within the community, including N Street Village, pays dividends for everyone involved. To donate or volunteer to N Street Village is to also receive.