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Mentors and Guest Speakers Sought for Richmond Elementary School

Tuesday, September 12, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Please join Mentor Program of the Young Lawyers Division by volunteering as a mentor or guest speaker at Woodville Elementary School in Richmond.

The Mentor Program is proud to partner with Woodville Elementary School for the 11th consecutive year. Formerly known as the Capitol Mentor Program, the project offers exciting opportunities that provide students and members of the Woodville Elementary School community with the information, skills and support they need to gain access to positive, productive educational paths.

Woodville Elementary School is a city public school, located at 2000 N. 28th St. in Richmond, approximately 2½ miles from downtown Richmond. Many of its students come from low-income housing developments, including Creighton Court, with higher than average rates of crime and poverty.

Woodville Elementary School’s teachers need our help to promote academic achievement, community involvement and long-term goal setting. Any Virginia Bar Association member and law student at a Virginia college or university can help in one or both of these ways:

Lunch Buddy Mentoring Program

Beginning in October or November 2017, we will launch a lunch buddy program at Woodville Elementary School where mentors will have the opportunity to sit with students during their lunch period and speak with them about their lives and goals. This will not only help teachers with supervising lunch, but also will provide the best opportunity for small group mentorship. Mentors are encouraged to speak with their mentees about the importance of attending school each day and setting goals about graduating from elementary and middle school and going on to high school and college.

We ask that mentors commit to attend two lunch periods per month - but, of course, certainly encourage more! The lunch period at Woodville Elementary School runs from approximately 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., but mentors will be required to meet with their mentees only during their mentees’ 30-minute lunch period. Please keep in mind that making and keeping your commitment to your mentees are keys to the success of this relationship.

If you would like to join the VBA YLD's mentor team at Woodville Elementary School, please contact Will Van Thunen as soon as possible, but no later than Oct. 1, 2017, via email at

Guest Speaker Series

To support the positive behavior invention program at Woodville Elementary School, the Mentor Program will be sponsoring a guest speaker series beginning Friday, Sept. 29, and continuing each month throughout the school year.

This guest speaker series will introduce students to role models of varying backgrounds, academic paths and careers. Guest speakers will be asked to share their story, their academic and career paths and emphasize the importance of good attendance, stellar academic performance and long-term goal setting. The audience for the guest speaker series will be the class or classes that has collected the most Bear Paws - tokens reflecting that a student has been caught behaving exceptionally - during the month and will be treated to snacks provided by the Mentor Program.

If you have an interesting story to share or would like to nominate someone (attorney or otherwise) to share their story, please contact Will Van Thunen as soon as possible, but no later than Oct. 1, 2017, via email at to be considered as a guest speaker.

The Mentor Program is open to all Virginia Bar Association members as well as students attending Virginia-based law schools.

If you know of anyone who may be interested in supporting the Mentor Program in Virginia Beach or Richmond, please ask them to contact either Chair Will Van Thunen at or Chair-Elect Ryan Hanson at

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