Personality: Avanti Kollaram Yamamoto

As the daughter of Indian immigrants, Avanti Kollaram Yamamoto didn’t always dream of becoming a teacher.

Personality: Wilmer Matamoros-Menjivar

High school has had its ups and downs for Wilmer Mtr. Matamoros-Menjivar, a senior at Richmond High School for the Arts.

Personality: Xolani Sivunda

Xolani Sivunda doesn’t remember a time when he wasn’t honing his art skills. His joy of art strengthened at age 10 when he would replicate images of soccer players he saw in sports magazines. Ever since he hasn’tstopped pursuing his …

Personality: Antonio Villa Payares

Dr. Antonio Villa Payares was part of the first generation in his family to pursue a career in medicine. He became interested in becoming a doctor early on.

Personality: Paula McCapes

Philanthropy runs in the family for Paula McCapes.

Personality: Joanna Suzanne Lee

Joanna Suzanne Lee has been writing poetry since elementary school. Some of Ms. Lee’s schoolteachers encouraged her to write and think creatively, but it all started with her mom.

Personality: Rhonda Keyes Pleasants

Rhonda Keyes Pleasants entered the funeral industry in 1996 and became a fully licensed funeral director and embalmer in December 2000.

Personality: Sheri Shannon

Sheri Shannon has long believed that focused community-action work can battle climate change head on.

Personality: Earl Reid

Earl Reid always knew he wanted to serve in the military, prompted in part by walking past the Military Retirees Club, which was not far from the Gilpin Court neighborhood in which he grew up.

Personality: Viola Baskerville

In just over a month, Viola Baskerville has become front and center in an important aspect of Richmond’s Black history.

Personality: Linwood ‘Shawn’ Nelson

Linwood “Shawn” Nelson, a product of rural Virginia, was no stranger to poverty while growing up.

Personality: Stephanie Spencer

For years, Stephanie Spencer has worked to build a better future for mothers. A lifetime of experiences – from working in the medical system as a nurse to becoming a mother herself – has contributed to her growing knowledge of …

Personality: Meredith Hertzler

In 2016, family led Meredith Hertzler to reach out to the nonprofit He She Ze and We. She found a supportive community that she continues to rely on each day.

Personality: Brent Timberlake

The three words that Brent Timberlake used to describe himself — curious, hopeful and hard-working — play a role in many aspects of his life.

Personality: Utibe O. Bassey

Nigerian-born Utibe O. Bassey grew up in Connecticut and has family scattered far and wide, but none in Virginia. When she moved to Richmond in the summer of 2020 for a job with Dominion Energy, she was all alone and …