The Richmond African American Scholarship Fund (RAASF) is a non-profit endowment fund founded in 2003 by the African American Forum (AAF), discount a network group created by and for African American professionals at Genworth Financial.
The goal of the RAASF is two-fold:
- First, to provide African American students in Richmond Public Schools with scholarships, resources, mentorship, and professional development opportunities that are both relevant and rewarding
- Second, to promote the City of Richmond as a place for college graduates to aspire to return to work and lead in their communities
The Richmond African American Scholarship Fund recognizes that it is today’s young scholars that are poised to serve as our future leaders. Each year the RAASF hosts an Annual Scholarship Awards Reception with the theme “Our Scholars, Our Future,” honoring five college-bound graduating high school seniors from Richmond Public Schools. Five $2,000 scholarships are given to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, community involvement and leadership excellence. To date, the RAASF has awarded 65 scholarships totaling $130,000.
In addition to providing financial scholarships, the Richmond African American Scholarship Fund hosts a one-day Annual Student Development Workshop for all its scholars in January during the college winter break. At the development workshop, students are exposed to a variety of professional development training sessions that include topics such as resume writing, interviewing skills, networking, business etiquette, managing a budget, and how to navigate corporate America. The workshop also features a career panel comprised of professionals in diverse fields who share their professional journey stories and provide insights to scholars on how to pursue their desired career path.
A unique attribute of RAASF is its commitment to remaining connected with its scholars throughout all of their college years. The relationship between scholar and the RAASF extends long after the delivery of the financial scholarship award. RAASF mentors communicate with scholars on a consistent basis during each semester often providing insight and guidance to its scholars about matters that are important to them.
The RAASF ensures that each RAASF scholar currently enrolled in college receives a care package consisting of a variety of non-perishable healthy foods and comforting snacks. Affectionately referred to as the “Black Box” by the scholars, the care packages —sent during the fall and spring final exam periods—are designed to assist the students through the long nights of studying and preparing for final exams.
The RAASF is committed to its mission of “Helping students reach their full potential,” and continues to strive to meet its long-term strategic objective of funding a $500,000 endowment in order to self-fund current award levels in perpetuity. To make a tax-deductible donation, please make checks payable to: The Community Foundation and write RAASF in the memo section. Mail Checks To:
c/o The Community Foundation
7501 Boulders View Drive, Suite 110
Richmond, VA 23225