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ConnectVA Spotlight: Gabrielle Jones, Community Idea Stations

Tell us about yourself I'm Gabrielle Jones, Digital Marketing Manager at the Community Idea Stations. My educational background is in journalism and I worked in marketing and management for a for-profit company in Washington, DC before coming to the Community Idea Stations almost three years ago. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and have lived in Raleigh/Durham, NC, Detroit, MI, and Washington, DC. I'm happy to call Richmond my new home and love having the opportunity to go to work on this city's Sesame Street each day.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Heather Farber, Volunteer Coordinator, Greater Richmond Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN)

Tell us about yourself. My name is Heather Farber and I am the Volunteer Coordinator for Richmond Court Appointed Special Advocates, a program of Greater Richmond Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN). SCAN is working to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect in the Greater Richmond area through services that promote positive parenting, strengthen families and help create a community that values and cares for its children. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a national organization and in 2009, Richmond CASA merged with Greater Richmond SCAN and became one of their five programs. CASA assigns volunteers to advocate for children who are involved in child abuse and neglect cases in the Richmond City Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Terence Barber, Prevention & Outreach Specialist, The James House

Tell us about yourself. My name is Terence Barber and I am the Prevention & Outreach Specialist for the James House. I have a B.A. in Mass Communications and a M.A. in Media Management from Virginia State University. Prior to starting this position in February, I worked with citizens in the community and helped connect them to resources that would assist them in becoming self-sufficient. I also planned community events and connected with other organizations to help provide services to those clients.

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ConnectVA Spotilght: Jess Burgess, Artistic and Executive Director, Dogtown Dance Theatre

Tell us about yourself. My name is Jess Burgess and I am the Artistic and Executive Director for Dogtown Dance Theatre. Dogtown is a nonprofit dance service organization that provides a home for all of Richmond’s independent performance artists. We seek to enliven our local community by fostering creative expression and education across diverse populations. I am also a choreographer, dancer, and dance instructor creating work and teaching dance across the state of Virginia.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Janet Starke, Richmond Performing Arts Alliance

Tell us about yourself. My name is Janet Starke and I am the Executive Director for Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (formerly Richmond CenterStage Foundation). Our mission is to provide diverse local and world-class performing arts, transformative arts education experiences for all and inspirational venues—all to strengthen the cultural and economic vitality of the Greater Richmond region.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Rich Schultz, Executive Director, Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond

Tell us about yourself. My name is Rich Schultz and I serve as Executive Director of Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond. We are a broad-based early childhood coalition with the vision that all children from birth through five in the Richmond Region will be healthy, well-cared for, and ready to succeed in school, work and life.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Molly Smith, Volunteer Program Manager, CrossOver Healthcare Ministry

Tell us about yourself. My name is Molly Smith and I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from St. Louis University in Missouri with a B.A. in History. I then moved to Puerto Rico, where my husband and I established a family. During my 15 years on the island, I learned the language and developed a deep appreciation for the culture. I miss being able to spend a random day in Old San Juan or at one of my favorite beaches.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Chris Beach, Executive Director, Relationship Foundation of Virginia

Tell us about yourself. My name is Chris Beach and I am the Executive Director of the Relationship Foundation of Virginia.  I have been in the nonprofit field for 6 1/2 years.  I have worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters and FRIENDS Association for Children.  Prior to my work in the nonprofit field, I was a teacher for 12 years at the elementary and middle school levels.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Emily O’Keefe, Domestic/Sexual Violence Coordinator, Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services

Tell us about yourself. My name is Emily O’Keefe, and I work as the Domestic/Sexual Violence (DSV) Coordinator at Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services (GFCFS), whose mission is to provide access to health care and basic human services to Goochland residents in need.

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