Education is the issue closest to my heart. I volunteer as a writer coach with Writer Coach Connection. We go into public schools (I go into Richmond High), and work one on one with students on their writing assignments. I also volunteer as a Math tutor with the city’s Literacy for Every Adult Program (LEAP). We help adult learners get a GED.

What is the Richmond Promise, and how did Vinay influence its implementation?

As part of the Chevron modernization agreement in 2014, Chevron agreed to fund a $35M college scholarship program for Richmond students. Last year we implemented this program under which every Richmond student attending college will receive $1500 per year scholarship. I made sure that all students were eligible regardless of what type of school they attended. For the college year of 2016-17, we awarded about 400 scholarships, and we expect the number to go up substantially over the next few years. The program also includes college orientation components, and help for students to access additional funding.

What has Vinay done to improve job training for adults who are not college bound?

During my stint as a volunteer with the city’s Literacy for Every Adult Program (LEAP), I saw that one of the problems was motivation and attendance. An already stressed situation with little prospect of a significant betterment in job prospects was at the root of this. I fostered collaboration between LEAP and the Building Trades to motivate LEAP students with the prospect of good careers in the Building Trades. I am working on replicating this on a larger scale within our school district through city agencies like Richmond Build.