Naujé Jones, a third year student at Virginia Commonwealth University, is a phenomenal student leader donning multiple hats in the Richmond and VCU community. For the past three years Naujé has been an office assistant with the Division of Community Engagement (DCE). She has worked on several projects with the DCE that focus on grant tracking and dissemination for faculty, staff and students who are involved in community-based research projects or service-learning classes. During her sophomore year, Naujé entered the ASPiRE program, a living-learning program under the DCE that promotes community engagement through service-learning and co-curricular experiences. She has since been involved in service opportunities such as Fit-To-Go a program focused on wellness and fitness among the children of East End as well as Shalom Farms which connects food insecure communities to healthy food options. Now in her third year of study and 2nd year of ASPiRE, Naujé is an ASPiRE Resident Assistant. She assists fellow students in finding the right co-curricular for their interest. In addition, she hosts programs that increase awareness of service opportunities, campus resources and social issues that exist within the Richmond community.
I first learned about food insecurity and disparities in high school when my mother and I would volunteer with a local non-profit. Upon attending Virginia Commonwealth University I became even more aware of the food disparities that existed within our surrounding communities through a service-learning research project my freshman year that focused on food insecurity. From that experience it came to my attention just how unaware my fellow student body was of the disparities that existed within Richmond. In my second year of study I joined ASPiRE to further my direct impact in my community. Through its academic components, my direct engagement in the community, and work within VCU's Division of Community Engagement I developed a knowledge of the history and social issues that exists in Richmond's diverse neighborhoods. To increase awareness of local social issues and involvement in service and engagement in the community I became an ASPiRE Resident Assistant. In addition to my continued involvement and support of service in my community, I use my position for advocacy through programming and resource dissemination among VCU students.