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Safe Harbor

Maria was sixty-five when she made the difficult and dangerous decision to leave her abusive husband. After eighteen years of marriage, she fled her home state to seek refuge with family in Richmond. Maria hoped for a fresh start, but…

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Elk Hill

By age seven, Luke had lost both parents to acts of violence. He and his siblings were split up among relatives; he no longer had a place to call home. By the time he started first grade at his public…

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ChildSavers

Nine-year-old Liam and his 13-year-old sister, Melanie, are playing in the basement. Their lives, up to that moment, have been what every child deserves: quiet, stable, ordered. The gunshots from upstairs end all that. Their mother is critically wounded. Their…

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SIDE by SIDE

It was the end of a long day in August  2012 when Linda McNeil called to talk to the 17-year-old whose behavior had seemed a little off at a recent get-together. Linda, who leads one of Side by Side’s (formerly…

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Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School

"It’s not just a school. AJC is more like a  community center where people really know you.” That’s what Lorin Johnson has to say about her experience at Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School, an independent middle school serving low-income students…

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Richmond Animal League

Last winter, Brianna and Golden Merrill decided their children were ready for a pet, and they began the search for a dog to meet the family’s needs. After speaking with a volunteer adoption counselor at Richmond Animal League, the Merrills…

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CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation

“The day we found out Lauryn’s diagnosis, it was like having a nightmare.” That’s how Lauryn’s father, Richard Lewis, explains how he felt when his family heard that the swollen lymph node on his daughter’s neck was cancer. On that…

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ART 180: Change Through Art

As soon as Todd Hale, a professional artist and ART 180 program assistant, started chatting with a shy seventh-grader named Stephon in the cafeteria of Binford Middle School in Richmond, he knew he’d met a fellow artist. “I was immediately…

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Richmond Peace Education Center

When two of their classmates were murdered in 2004, a group of students came to Richmond educator Ram Bhagat for guidance. Bhagat, a member of the Richmond Peace Education Center (RPEC) board of directors, helped the teens organize a conference…

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