Aurora Milas may be a Californian by birth, but her heart belongs to D.C., where she’s resided off and on for years—the last four at Jubilee’s Ritz apartments in Adams Morgan. Her history with Jubilee Housing goes back much further.
A close friend and former college roommate introduced Milas to Jubilee in 2004, and she volunteered for several events as she got to know the organization. “I went from volunteering to help my friend to volunteering to help an organization that was doing great things,” Milas said.
When she returned to D.C. in 2012, after several years away, Milas secured a job as a teacher at Jubilee JumpStart, which helped her land a Jubilee apartment she could afford in the city.
“People rely on Jubilee for affordable housing,” Milas said. “For my unit, I pay about half the market rate in our neighborhood. Without Jubilee, I wouldn’t be able to live in the city and enjoy the benefits of the city. This is the city I want to live in. This is the city I feel closely tied to. I’ve lived in the D.C. suburbs before, but I feel most comfortable living in the city.”
Jubilee JumpStart promoted Milas from teacher to director of Development, and then she took the job of Development Associate for Jubilee Housing. She left work at Jubilee last year to serve as manager of Individual Giving for Reading Partners. After living and working in Adams Morgan for four years, Milas maintains her work connection there by tutoring an hour a week at H.D. Cooke Elementary School.
Reading Partners provides tutoring to District students falling behind grade level and encourages its employees to tutor, in addition to their regular work duties. Milas said she could have chosen a school closer to her office, but she chose Cooke so she could “be in the neighborhood, even if only an hour a week, supporting the children and families I already know.”
Jubilee fosters a sense of community and support, she said. “What has been so great for me is the ability to build relationships with people in the neighborhood,” Milas said. “They see me walking down the street, and they recognize me from my time as a teacher or as a neighbor or both. When you invest in Jubilee, you’re investing in the people in Jubilee Housing and in their futures.”