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Richmond Pathways to Life a SUCCESS!

On Saturday, May 20, 2023, the Commonwealth (VA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and its co-sponsors hosted Richmond, Virginia’s first annual Pathways to LIFE Abroad International Education and Global Careers Fair. John Marshall High School’s lobby and amphitheater saw a flurry of activity as exhibitors set up their tables, panelists checked the mics on stage, and attendees began to arrive at the venue.


Richmond Public Schools; Policy Pathways, Inc.; the City of Richmond Mayor’s Youth Academy; the Commonwealth (VA) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated; Virginia Union University; and the VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs welcomed youth from across Central Virginia to an assembly of study abroad and international education experts who were eager to help students launch their futures into global studies, living, and career paths.

On Friday, May 19th, representatives from the six sponsoring organizations gathered at Richmond City Hall to receive a proclamation from Mayor Levar M. Stoney. He declared May 20th as International Education and Global Careers Day in Richmond “in support of efforts to increase awareness of study abroad opportunities and reduce the disparities of access for students of color.”


The proclamation heralded a successful fair. Students and their families gathered in Richmond to meet program representatives, hear from past participants, and gain invaluable information about study abroad programs. Three superb panels drew attendees from exhibit tables in the lobby into the auditorium for inspiring discussions on the following topics:

  • Study Abroad Opportunities: Creating Pathways to Higher Education

  • Jamar Billups, Richmond Public Schools

  • Christina Pettinelli, AFS-USA

  • Courtney Bauman, School for International Training (SIT)

  • Skye Henry, American Councils for International Education

  • International Education: Why It Matters

  • Lakendra Brunston-Parker, Virginia Union University

  • Amy Wilson, GVI (Global Vision International)

  • Julia Wells, VCU Education Abroad

  • Ralph Hall, Virginia Tech

  • Global Careers in a Culture of Internationalization

  • Robyn McDougle, Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Christopher Osuanah, Reynolds Community College

  • Verlisha Brandon, Peace Corps

  • Jacques Houssou, Due Diligence & Risk Policy Consultant

Fair attendees, panelists, and program representatives engaged in lively discussions about studying abroad and international education through the building and into the cafeteria, where lunch was served. Attendees who received stamps from every exhibit table in their Pathways to LIFE Abroad Passport were entered in a raffle for Samsonite carry-on luggage, a Cotopaxi Allpa backpack, and fanny packs. Congratulations to all our winners! 

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