News & Event
The greater Richmond region and communities across the nation are confronting two crises – the novel coronavirus, which continues to disproportionately impact people of color, and racism, which has afflicted our country for generations. People are hurting. We feel it.
We are grieving the senseless loss of George Floyd in Minneapolis and others who came before him. Our grief, pain, and frustration are evident throughout our nation and call us to come together to address inequitable systems and injustice. We are propelled to solution by creating platforms to elevate this conversation so that we can educate and empower our respective communities. As an organization, we will also take time for self-reflection and seek opportunities to further evolve our own practices so that we are truly leaning into our values of diversity and inclusion.
The Community Foundation is deeply invested in supporting the health, housing, and education needs of our region with a focus on communities that lack the resources and/or opportunities to achieve their full potential. We challenge ourselves daily to listen, learn, and grow with our community. This challenge requires our Foundation to remain committed to the long, hard work that change requires so that progress becomes a reality.
We are continually reminded of the importance of exposing ourselves to different backgrounds and experiences so that we can transcend beyond our own narratives and share in diverse and differentiated ways of existing. We can build a better Richmond. Let this moment of pain become our moment of opportunity to learn, grow, and deepen our respect for all people. Let us resolve to sharpen our focus and act with greater urgency.
The Community Foundation is committed to working with others as our community charts the way forward. It is how we have approached challenges in the past, and how we will build resiliency for the future – whether addressing COVID-19, racial equity, or other important issues facing our region. We will keep you informed as the Community Foundation defines its actions in the coming weeks and months. If you are considering a way to give back or get involved, below are a few suggestions.
We look forward to working with you to make the Richmond region a better place for all who live here.
November 10, 2015
(RICHMOND, VA) – At an awards ceremony held Monday evening, The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation recognized 34 outstanding public school teachers selected as finalists for the 2015 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence. Considered among the best in their field, these exceptional instructors demonstrate a sincere passion for teaching while also serving as mentors, coaches and champions for their students. Selected from 102 teachers nominated by students, parents and colleagues, 16 winners and 18 finalists will receive cash grants totaling $185,100.
The R.E.B. Awards provide opportunities for area public school teachers to continue their own love of learning as they pursue adventures of a lifetime. For Evette Cartwright, a 5th grade teacher at G.W. Carver Elementary School in Richmond City, an R.E.B. Award of $11,900 will allow her to travel to Jamaica and Hawaii where she will take a deep dive into science topics covered by the 5th grade SOLs, including geology, oceanography and cultural anthropology.
Brian Letourneau, a history teacher at Hanover High School, goes above and beyond to embrace his students’ learning styles by supporting them on their terms – including late night emails, text reminders, and study sessions at Barnes & Noble. With his award of $11,900, Brian will deepen his understanding of our great nation by visiting the American Presidential Libraries and attending a history education workshop at Stanford University. Brian will share his experiences with students through videos, blogs and pictures of each historical site.
Culinary arts teacher at Chesterfield Technical Center, Sarah Jurewicz, engages her students by weaving art, science, math, reading and economics into her baking lessons. One of her students notes, “Ms. Jurewicz inspires me and challenges me in ways that no teacher has before.” With an award of $12,000, Sarah will explore the purity of ingredients and origins of pastry arts within the countries of Austria, Switzerland and Belgium.
Connected by a desire to make their lessons relevant, all of this year’s R.E.B. award recipients will have a chance to collect real-life experiences, stories and artifacts to refuel their passion for teaching and enhance their ability to bring subject matter to life for their students.
Robert Warren Benway - LC Bird High School (CH) $9,000
To visit the top Maker Spaces in the San Francisco Bay area and attend the international Maker Faire in Singapore; and to visit Cambodia to determine how students can build prosthetics to help the victims of land mine accidents.
Polly Lynne Bosse - Kaechele Elementary School (HE) $11,500
To travel to Hawaii, with a stop in Los Angeles, to gain hands-on experiences and create a multimedia journal of sea animals, marine plants, and island culture.
Mary Victoria Carll - Open High School (RI) $11,800
To travel to Peru and Cuba in order to compare a country that has maintained its historical legacy and cultural and linguistic identities in the face of the 21st century against a country that is just now emerging into the global sphere.
Evette Upshaw Cartwright - G.W. Carver Elementary School (RI) $11,900
To travel to Jamaica and Hawaii to explore the oceanic regions of the East and West Coasts and study geophysical flows, specifically the atmosphere and oceans.
Stephanie Gianni Cochrane - Woolridge Elementary School (CH) $8,200
To travel to the Scottish Lowlands, highlands, and islands seeking inspiration within the landscape, architecture and castles, and the cultural tradition of storytelling.
Teresa Ann Cole - Short Pump Middle School (HE) $12,000
To improve research and writing instruction by traveling to England, France, Germany and Italy to study ancestral culture and history.
Mark Evan Dillon - Bailey Bridge Middle School (CH) $7,400
To experience the Lewis and Clark expedition by retracing their journey from St. Louis, up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, over the Continental Divide, down the Columbia River and to the Pacific Ocean.
Pamela M. Hall - Cosby High School (CH) $12,000
To lead her class in a virtual field trip/math project based learning activity that focuses on challenges faced by the youth in Richmond, Hawaii & Haiti; and to attend a National Geographic photo workshop.
Sarah Frances Jurewicz - Chesterfield Technical Center (CH) $12,000
To explore the purity of ingredients and origins of pastry arts within the countries of Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium.
Erik Siegfried Leise - Atlee High School (HA) $11,800
To visit Moscow, St. Petersburg and Paris to compare and contrast the Art Deco Movement and the Russian Constructivist Movement of the Early Modernist Period.
Brian Matthew Letourneau - Hanover High School (HA) $11,900
To create engaging U.S. history instructional materials based on information gleaned from the libraries of recent American presidents, a history education workshop at Stanford, and the International Society for Technology in Education conference.
Lauren Melton Lineweaver - Falling Creek Elementary School (CH) $8,100
To travel within the United States to experience cultural and historical landmarks which celebrate our country’s rich history.
Kelly Ann Pace - Atlee High School (HA) $10,800
To find writing inspiration by completing a street photography course and traveling to five U.S. cities, taking photographs of people and places in each location.
Kristen Mae Reynolds - Clover Hill Elementary School (CH) $9,200
To explore practical applications of student leadership by attending the Leader in Me Leadership Symposium; and to expand knowledge of global partnership/service leadership by touring Heifer International Global Village and working in Haitian communities.
Dawn Chentil Sherwood - Highland Springs High School (HE) $12,000
To travel to Antarctica and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) to photograph wildlife and learn about the effects of climate change and sustainability issues.
Joy Marie Siegel - Shady Grove Elementary School (HE) $12,000
To research historical and current points of view of the English, Irish, Northern Irish, and Scottish about colonization, independence, and cultural adaptations through on-site visits, conversation and dance.
All finalists not chosen for a professional development grant will receive a $750 unrestricted cash grant in recognition of their achievements in the classroom.
Learn how to nominate your favorite teacher
Ever wonder how you might honor a teacher who has inspired, equipped, or encouraged you to succeed? Take a few moments to nominate an outstanding public school teacher for an R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence and a chance to win a grant award of up to $12,000.
Through a nomination process, approximately 15 exceptional public school teachers are selected each year to receive cash grants to support professional development activities. Nominations are invited from parents, students, educators, and the community at-large. Award recipients have earned graduate degrees, climbed mountains, traced their ancestors and met peers from around the world - all to kindle their own passion for learning and to pass it on to their students.
“What the REB Award process did for me was reignite an excitement and energy for both my teaching and learning. The REB Award rejuvenated my focus and drive for education, and that effect flooded over into the successes of so many students I get to work with every year,” said Karl Lippa, 2013 REB Award Winner.
The program is based on the belief that a positive educational experience at the elementary, middle and high school levels helps children form positive life-long habits toward learning and discipline. Nominations are welcomed for public school teachers from the City of Richmond and Counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and the Department of Juvenile Justice in these localities.
Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Bedden interviewed a recent REB Award winner Tiffany Floyd who plans to travel to Finland this winter. You can check out their interview here:
Interested in learning more about the REB Award process? Learn more and nominate a teacher:
Nominate a Teacher
In its thirteenth year, the Stettinius Fund for Nonprofit Leadership honored three nonprofit leaders with grants totaling over $26,000. Christopher Beach, Executive Director, Relationship Foundation of Virginia; Honesty Liller, CEO, The McShin Foundation, and Todd Martin, Deputy Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America, Heart of Virginia Council have been selected to pursue professional development opportunities of their own design. The Stettinius awards program was established by Cadmus Communications Corporation on the occasion of Wallace Stettinius’ retirement from the Cadmus Board of Directors. Since its inception in 2003, the Fund has recognized and supported outstanding professionals who provide effective organizational leadership within the local charitable sector.
Deeply entrenched in TCF’s community grantmaking and leadership work is a commitment to build a strong and sustainable network of local nonprofits. We do this by offering nonprofits access to resources, capacity building grants, civic engagement opportunities, nonprofit directory and professional development. The Stettinius awards program has been a large part of our commitment for leadership development, and starting next year these funds will be used to enhance the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program.
Chris Beach, Executive Director, Relationship Foundation of Virginia
RFVA has a clear vision – to strengthen relationships for better families. With a grant of $10,000 Chris will obtain an executive certificate in nonprofit leadership from Duke University, apply for the 2018 class of Leadership Metro Richmond, and attend the National Council of Family Relations annual conference.
“In the nonprofit field, funds for continuing education and additional training are very limited. I applied for this award because I knew that this scholarship would allow me to pursue amazing opportunities and strengthen my abilities to lead RFVA and broaden our reach in the community. I am humbled and honored to have been chosen for this award but it is my staff that truly deserves this recognition. They work tirelessly to strengthen and enrich relationships for youth, couples and fathers. It is because of them that I am able to passionately pursue our mission at RFVA.”
Honesty Liller, Executive Director, McShin Foundation
The McShin Foundation is a recovery resource foundation whose mission is to deliver a message of hope to recovering addicts and alcoholics and facilitate their journey to a healthier life. Honesty will use her grant award of $9,100 to participate in Stanford’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders and apply to the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program through TCF.
“I am continually striving to be a more effective female leader and role model within our organization and the Richmond community. My journey from drug addiction to helping others has been an amazing, priceless experience. As a high school graduate who bypassed college courses because of drug addiction, I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to apply for the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at Stanford Graduate School through my Stettinius Award.”
Todd Martin, Deputy Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is a youth development program that collaborates with community organizations to provide leadership development and character building programs to youth. With a grant of $7,600 Todd will pursue a mini MBA through the University of Richmond and attend the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference.
“I am honored to have been selected to receive a Stettinius Award, not only for the recognition but the grant to apply toward my professional development goals. Pursuing my MBA and attending the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference will give me fresh perspectives into how Scouting locally can improve operations, partner with more organizations and make a greater impact in Central Virginia.”
Learn about our commitment to the local nonprofit sector
The Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund, created by the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia, has raised $4.1 million to date with support from 18 lead foundation and corporate partners, as well as generous donors in our region.
But with the impact from the COVID-19 crisis likely to stretch out for weeks and months, the need is just beginning. Philanthropic organizations are coming together to raise money and are calling on local individuals and organizations to make donations.
“The best way to get through this crisis is to do it together,” says Sherrie Armstrong, CEO of the Community Foundation. “That’s how we’ve overcome challenges of the past, and it’s how we will build resiliency for our future. As we gain greater understanding of the immediate effects of this public health crisis, while also anticipating what is yet to come, we are asking the community to help with a gift of any amount to the fund.”
United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg is providing $100,000 in matching dollars to incentivize new donations made through United Way’s website from individuals. Donors may also make gifts of cash, securities or other assets through the Community Foundation.
“Bringing communities together to solve big problems is a fundamental part of who we are,” said James Taylor, president & CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know local nonprofits and the vulnerable populations they serve need our help now. I believe the Central Virginia COVID-19 Fund is the best way to provide that help, but we need the entire community’s support. Please donate today.”
The Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund is the first activation of a coordinated, regional disaster response campaign to mobilize and deploy as many resources as possible in times when the community needs them most. Currently, the COVID-19 Response Fund is looking to provide rapid support to nonprofit organizations and public agencies providing health-related crisis response services and meeting the needs of individuals and families most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The fund is designed to be flexible in focus as needs change over time, and to complement other resources and responses at the national, state and local levels.
“Over the past year, we have worked closely with the Community Foundation to establish a regional disaster preparedness and response fund to ensure there would be a way for people to give if a disaster were to hit our region,” said Ben Ruppert, finance chair of the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia. “That shared commitment to planning and coordination is paying off now as we come together to tackle a crisis at a scale few could have predicted.”
Informed by those with emergency management expertise and on-the-ground insight, an advisory committee is currently reviewing requests and will plan to announce an early round of grants soon. The fund will be used initially to support essential services such as health care, housing, food access, childcare and senior care. They are also working with schools and government agencies to support the procurement of food and safety supplies for scaled distribution.
Learn more about the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund and make your contribution at www.togetheroneregion.org
COVID-19 Response Fund Founding Contributors
RICHMOND, VA – SisterFund, the newest giving circle created in partnership with The Community Foundation, has awarded a grant of $20,000 to Children’s Home Society. The grant will support the Possibilities Project, a collaboration between Children’s Home Society of Virginia and Better Housing Coalition. Funds will be used to provide trauma-informed supports including access to education, safe housing and life coaching for young women aging out of the foster care system.
“We are excited to partner with the women of SisterFund to produce better results for foster care youth in Virginia,” said Nadine Marsh-Carter, executive director of the Children’s Home Society of Virginia. “For youth entering the world without the supports of family or resources, this grant can be the difference between a path to incarceration or homelessness and a future in which they are empowered to live independently and become successful, thriving adults.”
The Possibilities Project addresses the young peoples’ emotional health as well as their critical need for lifelong connections. The long-term goal is to create a model based on best practices that can be replicated across Virginia and across the country.
“With so many compelling proposals, this was a hard choice,” said Evette Roots, founding member and marketing chair. “Ultimately, we were inspired by The Possibilities Project’s comprehensive approach and its long-term goals to affect systems change statewide. We felt we could make a difference financially, but also by staying informed and engaging in public policy.”
SisterFund was founded in October 2015 by several committed and passionate individuals including Veronica Fleming, The Honorable Cynthia Newbille, Greta J. Harris, Evette T. Roots, The Honorable Ellen F. Robertson, and The Honorable Delores McQuinn. Its purpose is to unite women around the power of collective philanthropy. In its inaugural year, 26 members came together to broaden their collective awareness about issues affecting African American women and girls and to support nonprofits serving this population through opportunities in education, workforce and leadership development.
“SisterFund is an experience that embraces all aspects of philanthropy. We are learning together, giving together and celebrating the joy of achieving greater impact together,” said Roots. “Now that we have made our first grant, we are extremely motivated to grow our circle and expand our support for community initiatives.”
Anyone who would like to join SisterFund or learn more about its grant program is encouraged to visit www.sisterfundrva.org or call The Community Foundation at (804) 330-7400.
(RICHMOND, VA) – The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation recognize 30 outstanding public school teachers selected as finalists for the 2017 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence. Considered among the best in their field, these exceptional instructors demonstrate a sincere passion for teaching while also serving as mentors, coaches and champions for their students. Selected from 112 nominations submitted by students, parents and colleagues, 16 winners and 14 finalists will receive cash grants totaling $180,800.
The R.E.B. Awards provide opportunities for area public school teachers to continue their own love of learning as they pursue adventures of a lifetime. For Minh Jergens, an 6th grade history teacher at Bailey Bridge Middle School in Chesterfield, an R.E.B. Award of $10,000 will allow her to return to her home country of Vietnam, which she left to come to the United States with her father at the age of 9. While there, she will visit war sites to deepen her understanding of this chapter of American history that affected millions of lives, including her own.
Christine Muse, the lead teacher at Richmond Career Education and Employment Academy, is driven to expose her students with significant cognitive disabilities to activities and experiences that will help prepare them for fully independent lives beyond the classroom. With her award of $9,500, Christine will research entrepreneurial opportunities for her students by visiting a business that employs individuals with intellectual disabilities in North Carolina, traveling to Grenada to explore an emerging program of the Grenada Downs Syndrome Association, and attending the 2018 World Downs Syndrome Congress in Glasgow, Scotland.
Connected by a desire to make their lessons relevant, all the 2017 awardees will have a chance to collect real-life experiences, stories and artifacts to refuel their passion for teaching and enhance their ability to bring subject matter to life for their students.
2017 Henrico County Finalists
Tiana Addai-Mensah, Miles Jerome Jones Elementary School (Richmond)
$12,000 to visit libraries across the globe with the purpose of exchanging ideas to elevate students’ love of reading for pleasure.
Helena Agnew, Cosby High School (Chesterfield)
$12,000 to study Native American crafts at the Taos Art School in New Mexico by taking classes taught by renowned Hopi, Navajo and Acoma artists.
Heather Andre, Cosby High School (Chesterfield)
$12,000 to travel to Italy and England, where a cappella music originated, to gain a greater appreciation for and understanding of how to teach and perform this popular style of choral music.
Karen Barber-Olajuwon, George Mason Elementary School (Richmond)
$12,000 to attend workshops in the U.S. and Barbados that promote the art of poetry writing, the use of poetry as an instructional tool, and poetry as a constructive outlet for traumatic experiences.
Alicia Broughton, Laurel Meadow Elementary School (Hanover)
$10,500 to explore the ancient civilizations and architecture of Greece and Rome to make relevant elementary STEM connections; and to attend the 2018 ISTE conference in Chicago, Illinois.
Michaela Dismann, Chesterfield Career and Technical Center (Chesterfield)
$12,000 to gain perspectives from former students and experts at rural colleges, universities and places of rural employment to encourage student interest in large animal veterinary careers; and to gain hands-on experience with stockmanship at a Wyoming Working Ranch.
Jerome Fleming, Short Pump Middle School (Henrico)
$10,300 to explore America’s historic cities and create a photo/video diary of each city to illustrate the culture and history that has made America into the diverse nation it is today.
Eliza Gemmill, South Anna Elementary School (Hanover)
$8,500 to participate in conferences, tours and interviews to learn how companies encourage innovation and how educators can connect business frameworks and philosophies to educational strategies.
Jennifer Gradwell, Chesterfield Juvenile Detention Home School (Chesterfield)
$11,400 to explore the connections between poverty, education and students’ hope for the future in Niger, Uganda, and Kenya; and to gain perspective through stories of resilience in parts of Africa with the lowest literacy rates in the world.
Minh Jurgens, Bailey Bridge Middle School (Chesterfield)
$10,000 to visit war sites in Vietnam to deepen the understanding of a chapter in American history that impacted millions of lives.
Jonathan Lauder, Mills E. Godwin High School (Henrico)
$6,500 to explore the ideas of the Enlightenment and the social and political revolutions brought to the western world by travelling to Paris, Vienna, Munich, and Philadelphia.
Christine Muse, Richmond Career Education and Employment Academy (Richmond)
$9,500 to study entrepreneurial opportunities for people with disabilities by visiting and networking with other organizations in North Carolina, Scotland and Grenada.
Lindsey Pantele, Glen Allen High School (Henrico)
$12,000 to study the Heroic and Classical Greek, Renaissance, and Modern literary periods through visits to several European cities.
Todd Ritter, Henrico High School (Henrico)
$10,600 to participate in Commedia Dell’arte and mask-making workshops in Florence, Italy and to visit several theatres spanning from ancient Rome to modern day.
Frenishee Smith, J.E. B. Stuart Elementary School (Richmond)
$9,000 to visit schools across the country that use innovative ways to engage students living in poverty; and to attend The International Conference on Urban Education in Nassau, Bahamas.
Gregory Townsend, Douglas Freeman High School (Henrico)
$12,000 to explore the culture, archaeology and geology of Central and South America while learning the Spanish language in an immersive setting.
Learn more about the R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence
3409 Moore Street
Richmond, VA 23230
P.O. Box 76495
Baltimore, MD 21275-6495
P: (804) 330-7400
F: (804) 330-5992
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