If you know anything about Virginia Commonwealth University, you know it’s different here. Like many public research universities, we strive to achieve distinction in education, research, service and patient care. We cultivate discovery, creativity and talent. We foster collaboration to advance learning, entrepreneurship and inquiry.
At VCU, however, we know that access is just as important as excellence. Our students need your help to make the most of their time here.
The Invest in Me campaign aims to raise funds to enhance the VCU experience, from scholarships that make it possible for students to join our campus community and stay the course through graduation to awards that offset living expenses while they focus on meaningful internships or assistantships to travel grants that help them attend academic and professional conferences or expand their horizons through study abroad.
VCU students are the doctors, job creators, engineers, social workers, dentists and artists — the changemakers — of tomorrow.
Invest in them. Your support today is an investment not just in their future but in all of our futures.
“Black and brown women are more likely to die during childbirth than any other group. I want to become an advocate so more women can have their concerns listened to. My scholarship has been a blessing to me, my family and my future patients. It’s helping me afford my education while allowing me to focus on my studies.”
College of Humanities and Sciences, Class of 2022
Turning dreams to reality
Student pursues dream of becoming a midwife with aid from Invest in Me scholarship
Ariana Paige dreams of becoming a midwife and serving her community by opening a birthing center in her hometown of Henrico, Virginia. A new scholarship created during Virginia Commonwealth University’s Invest in Me campaign is helping her bring that dream to life.
Paige, a senior majoring in health, physical education and exercise science in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, is one of the inaugural recipients of the Doug and Cathy Greenwood Scholarship, which supports undergraduate students from the greater Richmond, Virginia, area. Cathy and Douglas (M.Ed.’84/E) Greenwood established the scholarship in 2020 to realize their own dream of providing life-changing resources to someone who might not have had opportunities to succeed otherwise.
“A college education is more than books,” Cathy Greenwood says. “It broadens your perspective and the way you see everything in life.”
Receiving the Greenwood Scholarship, Paige says, has made a huge impact on her VCU experience.
“It’s helping my parents and I afford my education while allowing me to focus on my studies as I navigate through my time at VCU,” Paige says. “I still want to work so I can save up money for the future, but I’m not having to work nearly as much as I used to.”
Outside of class and work, Paige is actively involved in extracurricular activities as a member of the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students and VCU’s chapter of Planned Parenthood Generation Action. After she earns her bachelor’s degree in 2022, Paige hopes to enroll in VCU’s Accelerated B.S. in Nursing program and become a certified nurse midwife with a focus on prenatal and postnatal care for women from marginalized populations.
“Black and brown women are more likely to die during childbirth than any other group,” she says. “I want to become an advocate so more women can be heard and have their concerns listened to.”
Paige’s goal is to make a difference, and she is grateful for the scholarship that is helping her prepare to achieve it.
“It’s such a blessing for me, my family and my future patients,” she says.
“I was able to make a donation to Virginia Community Voice, an organization I had collaborated with during my fellowship. It was really important to me to value their time and the work they do with funding they can use however it’s needed. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to make that donation without my scholarship.”
Wilder School, Class of 2021
Scholarship helps graduate student take her commitment to her community projects to a new level
Amelie Rives (M.U.R.P.’21/GPA) came to the VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs with a passion for intentional community engagement. She was drawn to the school by its prestigious Graduate Scholars Fellowship program, where she knew she would have access to career-focused mentoring and experiential learning opportunities.
“The Wilder Fellowship had everything I was looking for in a graduate program,” Rives says. “You get hands-on experience practicing what you hope to do in your career, and I know that’s how I learn best.”
Wilder Fellows receive one year of tuition assistance, as well as a stipend during the academic year, in exchange for professional service assisting with special projects and providing program support to organizations that advance the public good. During her fellowship, Rives earned her master’s in urban and regional planning, while gaining valuable experience working with the VCU RVA Eviction Lab and Virginia Community Capital, where much of her work focused on inequity issues and community revitalization.
“Whether you’re a planner, a nonprofit professional or a corporate business developer, you need to intentionally and carefully engage community members,” Rives says. “My approach is to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table from the get-go. It’s important to make sure that community voices are central in changing the community.”
Rives’ dedication to her community projects earned her an additional scholarship from the Morton B. Gulak Associate Professor Emeritus Fund. The scholarship, paired with the financial support she received through the Graduate Scholars Fellowship, elevated her capstone project and gave her a sense of financial security that allowed her to take her commitment to her community projects to a new level.
“I was able to make a donation to extend my support for Virginia Community Voice, an organization I had collaborated with during my time with the Eviction Lab,” Rives says. “It was really important to me to value their time and the work they do with funding they can use however it’s needed. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to make that donation without my scholarship.”
Rives is thankful for the experiences she had as a Wilder Fellow and how they prepared her for an impactful and fulfilling career.
“The work we do in communities is change-making,” she says, “and I feel grateful that I get to do it.”
By the numbers
The Invest in Me campaign launched in 2019 to raise funds to enhance the VCU experience. So far:
donors have supported
Invest in Me.
funds are benefitting from support for Invest in Me.
new funds have been established.
has been raised during