Alicia Jiggetts, a third-year Criminal Justice major and Bonner Scholar at the University of Richmond, has shown determination to contribute her time and energy to the Richmond community - both through one-on-one interactions and public platforms - and a commitment to learning and to addressing issues of inequality over the long term. She is the editor of RVAGOV, a student-run and university-hosted website that provides citizens with up-to-date information on local government. In addition, she has interned with the Restoration of Rights Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and is currently volunteering with the City of Richmond's Center for Workforce Innovation. In her internships and volunteer work, Alicia balances her hunger to affect the system with ongoing education about the ways the system impacts people around her. Alicia cares deeply about policy change, but she also knows that meaningful policy changes won't be possible if policy makers don't deeply understand the real experiences of people living in challenging circumstances. Working with people, and not only for them, is critical for Alicia. She cares deeply about making the justice system more ethical from the inside and helping people affected by the system understand it and influence it for themselves.
In my junior and senior years of high school, I discovered that volunteering in my community and speaking out against injustice was my niche. I spent a lot of time volunteering at elementary schools around my city and for my neighborhood's homeowners' association. One of the most memorable moments for me was being the only teenage student to attend a Town Hall meeting for the Homeowners' Association, where I was able to be a voice for the underrepresented and often unheard teenage residents. This experience, and many others, instilled in me the desire to foment change by being be both hands-on in the community and at the leadership table.
I carried this passion for service with me to the University of Richmond. As a Bonner Scholar, I committed myself to four years of civic engagement and to the fight for social justice for everyone. I am driven by a sense of social responsibility and a strong passion to right the social wrongs I observe around me. I am vocal about the issues both in the City and at the University because I believe that as a young person, I have a crucial role to play as a catalyst for change.