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25 HCPS 8th graders will receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University

Each of the middle school students was surprised at school by a prize patrol with the news that they had been selected as “VUU Henrico Scholars.” The 25 students will receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from an HCPS high school in 2026.

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For 25 Henrico County Public Schools eighth graders and their families, Thursday morning was anything but typical.

Each of the middle school students was surprised at school by a prize patrol with the news that they had been selected as “VUU Henrico Scholars.” The 25 students will receive full-tuition scholarships to Virginia Union University upon graduation from an HCPS high school in 2026.

Scholarships will cover Virginia Union’s tuition and college-readiness support as students pursue a bachelor’s degree in an area of their choosing. Students will be responsible for room, board and fees.

During an application window in November and December, 116 students applied to be part of the program. In addition to essays and an interview, scholarship recipients were selected based on extracurricular activities; community involvement and leadership; a minimum GPA of 2.5; a statement about their career aspirations and dreams; and letters of recommendation. The selection process also prioritized first-generation college attendees and representation from Henrico County’s five magisterial districts.

The students will gather at Virginia Union with their future classmates for a celebration the evening of March 31. (Members of the media wishing to attend should contact Virginia Union for details.)

The students won’t have to wait until they arrive as college freshmen to take advantage of the program. In high school, they will:

  • Be assigned a mentor throughout their high school years to help support, advise and prepare them for college.
  • Take part in a weeklong college-readiness and exploration program each summer.
  • Enjoy regular on-campus experiences, such as sporting and other events.
  • Have access to VUU labs, classrooms and faculty for educational and professional development.
  • Connect with local business leaders in their areas of career interest.

VUU Henrico Scholars recipients:

Brookland District

George Moody Middle School:

  • Tiajia Randolph

Fairfield District

Brookland Middle School:

  • Jayla Henley
  • Kalani Curry

Fairfield Middle School:

  • De’Jhonae Sangster
  • Erica Higginbottom
  • Ja’Niyah Little
  • Shykayla Winston

Douglas Wilder Middle School:

  • Chad Young
  • Eon Fleming
  • Hezekiah Anderson
  • Jaden Tatem
  • Kamari Moore
  • Mikayla Mines
  • Preciana Franges
  • Riyel Waller-Butler

Three Chopt District

Holman Middle School

  • Cesar Espaillat Rojas

Pocahontas Middle School:

  • Jayla Bledsoe
  • Joshua Hanna

Tuckahoe District

Quioccasin Middle School:

  • Isaiah Cousins
  • Kaiden Ratay
  • Manas Malwal
  • Patrick Megaly

Varina District

John Rolfe Middle School:

  • Natalia Morales-Gomez
  • Osman Morales Diaz

Virginia Virtual Academy/John Rolfe Middle School:

  • MacKenzie Turgeon

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Education

HCPS students to get insight into Henrico’s government, school operations during 63rd annual Student Government Day

Henrico County high school students will get a firsthand look at their county government and school system operations when Student Government Day returns April 27-28 following a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Henrico County high school students will get a firsthand look at their county government and school system operations when Student Government Day returns April 27-28 following a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the 63rd Student Government Day, 93 students from Henrico’s nine public high schools, The Academy at Virginia Randolph and the Henrico Virtual Academy are scheduled to shadow elected and appointed officials – including members of the Board of Supervisors and the School Board, county manager, Henrico County Public Schools superintendent, constitutional officers and judges – to learn about their roles and responsibilities.

“Henrico County is thrilled to bring back Student Government Day after a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “This event allows many of our bright high school students to immerse themselves in the issues and decisions that impact our residents and businesses every day. It’s a proud tradition that highlights the tremendous partnership between our general government and Henrico County Public Schools.”

Student Government Day was first held in 1958 and was long supported by the Kiwanis clubs of North Richmond, Tuckahoe and Greater Richmond. This year’s event will begin with an investiture at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 in the auditorium of Hermitage High School, 8301 Hungary Spring Road. With the help of Henrico’s Circuit judges, 33 students will recite the oaths of office as if they were being sworn into their positions.

Students who are matched with general government officials will report to work at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, April 28. The day will include opportunities to learn how various departments function and will conclude with a simulated work session of the Board of Supervisors at 12:30 p.m. in the County Manager’s Conference Room and a simulated regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors at 2 p.m. in the Board Room of the Henrico Government Center, 4301 E. Parham Road.

In the meetings, students will have opportunities to discuss and debate local issues as if they were officially in the roles of elected and appointed officials.

The Board of Supervisors will take no official action as part of its participation in Student Government Day.

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Education

University of Richmond announces plans to offset the carbon footprint of campus visits

Knowing that students are passionate about sustainability, Enrollment Management and the Office of Sustainability partnered to offset the carbon footprint of the campus visits. The University will work with We Are Neutral, pioneers in the carbon offset market.

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The arrival of spring on campus signals the arrival of potential students and their families traveling from across the country to visit the University of Richmond campus.

Knowing that students are passionate about sustainability, Enrollment Management and the Office of Sustainability partnered to offset the carbon footprint of the campus visits. The University will work with We Are Neutral, pioneers in the carbon offset market.

For Admissions purposes, We Are Neutral calculates offset emissions based on prospective student travel data. Flight and travel data are translated into gallons of gasoline, which are then converted into tons of CO2 equivalent.

UR Admissions staff will provide to We Are Neutral data based on visits to campus this spring. The company will calculate the footprint of visitors traveling to and from campus based on mode of transportation and mileage, and UR will buy the offset based on that calculation.

The company has a “bank account” of verified carbon offset credits from already-completed carbon offset projects, including tree planting and methane reduction. “UR’s donation to We Are Neutral retires the verified offset from a completed project in the University’s name,” said Rob Andrejewski, director of sustainability.

“We know that our students care deeply about the environment and sustainability, and that travel has a direct and measurable impact on the environment,” said Stephanie Dupaul, vice president of Enrollment Management. “Through this initiative we are able to welcome students to campus in ways that minimize the impact of travel. This new initiative aligns UR’s commitment to these values with our students’ passions.”

The carbon offset program is one of many that have led to the university’s recognition as one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges. UR has an active pollinator program, holds Green Spider challenges, and has a Spider Solar program.  “We all have a contribution to make,” said Andrejewski. “This step by our Admissions team is a great example of doing what you can, where you are, with what you have, to make a difference.”

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Education

For the 23rd straight year, HCPS among nation’s best places for music education

The school division has received the honor each year since the music-industry group began compiling its list of America’s “Best Communities for Music Education” in 1999.

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For the 23rd straight year, Henrico County Public Schools has been named a national leader in music education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. The school division has received the honor each year since the music-industry group began compiling its list of America’s “Best Communities for Music Education” in 1999.

The designation acknowledges schools and school divisions across the U.S. for their support for music education. It is based on a detailed survey of a school division’s commitment to music instruction through funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction. The award recognizes the commitment of school administrators, community leaders, teachers and families who believe in music education and work to make music education accessible to all students.

“Music education helps our young people to know that there are no limits to what they can learn or who they can become. The study of music encourages creativity, communication, critical assessment and commitment while cultivating the human spirit and creative mind,” said Chris Moseley, the school division’s music education specialist. “This kind of sustained excellence only happens with broad support. It is because of our music teachers, administration, School Board and community that HCPS students enjoy one of the nation’s best music education programs.”

Studies have shown an association between exposure to the arts and academic and civic engagement.

The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation is funded by music trade association activities and donations. The foundation works to promote music education as an important part of the core educational curriculum.

To find out more about the “Best Communities for Music Education” program, click here.

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