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Work in the Community is What Stands Out for New ASPiRE Student

“I absolutely love ASPiRE,” said Jasmine Funderburk ’20, a social work major and psychology minor. “I have made so many new friendships and have met so many wonderful people.”

Funderburk is new to the program this year. Originally from Buffalo, NY, she decided to attend VCU for the social work program and because of how diverse the campus is and that it’s located in an urban setting. She originally heard about ASPiRE during her campus tour and liked the community engagement component of the program.

Funderburk didn’t have to wait long to be immersed in ASPiRE's community engagement culture. She has already worked with two of ASPiRE’s community partners - FRIENDS Association for Children, which helps children and families in the metropolitan Richmond area achieve their potential and become productive citizens, and SPARC, a performing arts education nonprofit. In addition to serving on ASPiRE’s Community Council, she said it’s the work in the community that has stood out the most for her so far.

“Every time I get to one of our locations, I have the time of my life,” she said. “The children and staff are always filled with joy and are always so excited to see us. I have fallen in love with both of those communities and have had such a great start to this year. I cannot wait to see what is in store for the years to come.”