Civic Engagement

The University of Richmond encourages students to engage with the various civic and cultural groups that make City of Richmond and surrounding communities such great places to live. The Bonner Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) helps connect students with the broader Richmond community, including sponsoring volunteer opportunities, community-based work-study, summer fellowships, and more. The UR Office for Sustainability provides internships and other opportunities to promote environmental health on campus and beyond. Many student organizations are also active in partnering with local charities to make a positive difference in our community at large.

Meet a Health Studies major

Picture of Stephanie Guza
Volunteering with Health Brigade, a free clinic located in downtown Richmond, allowed Stephanie Guza ’24 to put her classroom knowledge as a Health Studies major into practice. During her first year at UR, she served as a Spanish interpreter in telehealth through the Bonner Scholars Program.  After expressing an interest in learning more about responses to the drug epidemic affecting so many American communities, she began working with Health Brigade’s comprehensive harm reduction and needle exchange program. Among other tasks, she assembled safe injection kits and distributed them at the clinic and through mobile outreach programs. By the time she graduated from UR, she had logged 338 hours with Health Brigade, including 152 hours in 2023—more than any other volunteer that year. Her experiences as a Bonner Scholar reinforced her commitment to promoting health equity and confirmed her interest in a public health career.  “I met amazing people with real-world experiences whom I learned so much from,” she reported, adding that she was grateful for being able to help so many individuals receive much-needed medical care.
Picture of Victoria Lara

Victoria Lara ’24, a health studies major who is also pursuing a minor in data science and statistics, spent Summer 2023 interning with CrossOver Health Ministry, a nonprofit organization that provides clinical services to uninsured and underinsured residents of the city of Richmond and neighboring Henrico County.  Lara, a Bonner Scholar and Civic Fellow, worked 40 hours per week at the Richmond clinic for 12 weeks, serving as a Spanish language interpreter for the obstetrics program, assisting with teledentistry appointments that provide online dental checkups, supporting patients seeking to enroll in Medicaid, and calling patients to share test results and remind them of upcoming appointments.   

The University’s proximity to Richmond offers students exciting opportunities to gain real world experience by engaging with local community members and working with local leaders who are advancing innovation and change.  “I gained tremendous knowledge of medical terminology in two languages,” Lara said, “and I loved being able to help patients freely communicate with the provider in Spanish.”  Read more.