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Naujé Jones, ’19, named VCU’s first Newman Civic Fellow

Naujé JonesNaujé Jones, ’19, a psychology major and resident assistant, has been named VCU’s first Newman Civic Fellow. The fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

“I am so humbled to be the first student to represent VCU with this fellowship,” Jones said. “One of my missions when attending college was to make a lasting impact on the community and VCU as an institution.”

As a student at VCU, Jones works as an office assistant in the Division of Community Engagement (DCE), and she also was accepted to ASPiRE during her sophomore year. Through ASPiRE and her work with DCE, Jones has been involved in Fit-To-Go, a program focused on wellness and fitness among the children of East End; and Shalom Farms, which connects food insecure communities to healthy food options. Now in her third year of study and second year of ASPiRE, Jones serves as an ASPiRE resident assistant. In this role, she assists fellow students in finding the right co-curricular courses for their interests. In addition, she hosts programs that increase awareness of service opportunities, campus resources and social issues that exist within the Richmond community.

“Over the past three years, I have born witness to the incredible transformation that Nauje has made - from an undeclared freshman to a confident upperclassmen who has contributed to VCU in many ways,” said Erin Burke Brown, ASPiRE director. “Her work as an RA and as a leader in the ASPiRE living-learning residence hall has allowed her to share what she learns with other engaged students across campus.”

Jones said ASPiRE has helped her become more well-rounded as a student and as a citizen of Richmond. She also credits her community engagement with helping to solidify her career interests - specifically nursing and public health.

“Being involved with the community and a larger purpose has helped me navigate my passions and aspirations for the future,” she said. “ASPiRE has helped me integrate service into my everyday life and think about ways to serve outside of the program. Civic and community engagement to me is filling the gaps where policy has failed - creating relationships, partnerships and young leaders that will be the change we would like to see. It starts with community. ”

For more information, read the article at Campus Compact.