Change the World RVA
Mission. During the 2011-2012 academic year, there were approximiately 1700 students in Richmond Public Schools who were experiencing homelessness. Change the World RVA helps high school students experiencing homelessness succeed in college and in life. We help them prepare for college by providing mentoring, academic enhancement, host mentoring, and support. Unlike other programs that end at high school graduation or on their 18th birthday, we continue to provide mentoring, tutoring, and support while they attend college or transition to careers. We celebrate their success at every step along the way!
What we do. Established in the summer of 2012, Change the World RVA now offers multifaceted support to address the complex needs of these wonderful students:
- Afterschool drop-in program every Tuesday and Thursday (2:30 – 5:00pm) at Westover Hills United Methodist Church. These sessions offer fellowship, individual and group tutoring, guest speakers, field trips (including college visits), access to computers and the internet, and a hot meal.
- A year-long College Prep 101 course at Boulevard United Methodist Church to help prepare our high school seniors and current college students.
- Food and hygiene pantries at three Richmond high schools: Huguenot, George Wythe, and Armstrong. We also help students with clothing, emergency expenses such as cell phone bills and rent, and transportation (including GRTC bus passes).
- Mentoring and host mentoring. Our goal is to provide a mentor for every student and a host mentor for every student who has nowhere to live.
- Support in college and during transitions such as new jobs, new housing.
- Emergency transportation to school, jobs, medical visits, college visits, etc.
Who we are. Change the World RVA was originally established as a partnership between Bon Air and Westover Hills United Methodist Churches. It has grown to include Boulevard United Methodist Church, PACE Campus Ministry at VCU, and additional congregations of multiple faiths as well as several community partners. Our main contact in the Richmond Public Schools is the McKenny-Vento Social Worker in the three high schools (Huguenot, George Wythe, Armstrong). We are beginning to partner with several other Richmond agencies and organizations that serve the homeless and that serve the residents in our targeted communities. We are organized into several teams: academic enhancement, mentoring & host mentoring, food & hygiene pantries, celebrations, fund raising, and transition to college.
Another Woman's Treasure Bazaar. This is our big annual fundraiser, and it's way cool! All year long, we collect new and gently used purses, jewelry, and ladies' accessories and sell them in a fun 2-day event at Bon Air United Methodist Church. We collect purses & jewelry throughout the year (contact Natalie May firstname.lastname@example.org), and we encourage organizations to collect items for this worthy cause. And be sure to join us next time on March 7 & 8, 2014! Bring your friends!
In August 2013, we became an independent nonprofit; tax-deductible donations may be made to Change the World RVA and mailed to 8617 Waxford Road, Richmond, VA 23235.