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New Students Arrive for ASPiRE Orientation

Nearly 100 new students were welcomed into the ASPiRE program on August 22. The students participated in an intensive two-day orientation that allowed them to get to know each other and learn more about the program and the Richmond community.

Activities included a talk given by Commonwealth Attorney Michael Herring in which he urged students to find what they were passionate about in life and pursue what they believed to be right.

"When one student asked Herring if his friends and family thought he made the wrong decision when he left his position at a large law firm to go into public service, he replied that they thought he was crazy," said ASPiRE Director Erin Burke Brown. "But in the end, he said he feels he made the right choice and loves his work fighting for justice in Richmond."

Each day ended with students participating in community events. Activities ranged from cleaning up the East End cemetery to delivering a donation of 3,800 pounds of food from Food Lion to VCU’s RamPantry. The students had lunch with representatives from several community organizations and had a community partner fair where they learned more about service options at each agency.

For more information, contact Brown at