Our Mission is to


ourselves with administrators, educators and community members who have the relationships and knowledge to identify homeless and at-risk students in need in the Virginia Beach school system;


to call the community to action; to fundraise and friend-raise to break down the barriers to success for these students;


at-risk students to reach their full potential for themselves, their families and their community.



Our Programs

WE ARE VB is committed to implementing programs which meet the immediate needs of these students and lay the groundwork for consistent, long-term support programs which foster self-esteem, dignity and their ability to meet their full potential as students and citizens.


Support from trusted adults is critical to student success. WE ARE VB recruits adults from the Virginia Beach community to provide mentorship to at-risk students during the school year. Mentors are trained by the school system and matched with students by our network of school social workers/administrators. Mentors meet with their students 1-2 hours per month at school during regularly scheduled sessions. Topics of conversation can include plans for the future, goals, social life, home life, and of course…school life!

Our goal is to provide trusted adult support where such consistent relationships may be limited or lacking in their home life. The students we support have every reason in the world not to see their education through to the finish line, but a little extra attention and caring is sometimes exactly what it takes to see a student through to graduation. The program has proven to be rewarding for mentors and students alike.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please fill out this online form.


We know that food security leads to increased academic performance and improved self-esteem. Our FUEL UP program seeks to feed student success by nourishing student’s minds and bodies. Our model is built on the premise that food accessibility for the family unit is key to student success. WE ARE VB relies 100% on our community to support this program!

WE ARE VB provides three types of assistance:

FUEL UP TO-GO BAGS provides family-sized food bags to high school students and their families for long weekends and holiday breaks, when food at home is often most scarce. On demand food bags are also provided during the school week for especially at-risk students, at the request of their school social worker/administrator.

FUEL UP IN-SCHOOL PANTRIES are stocked by WE ARE VB and access is provided to at-risk students during the school day through school social workers/administrators. Pantry items include shelf-stable grab-n-go snacks and meals, toiletries and personal care items (i.e., feminine products, socks).

GATHER & GIVE EVENTS Throughout the school year we invite groups to support our FUEL UP program through focused efforts to gather and pack food and household supplies. If your family, friends, workplace, sports team or book club wants to host a FUEL UP Gather & Give Event, please contact programs@wearevb.wpenginepowered.com.


FUEL UP donation items can be purchased on AMAZON and shipped directly to WE ARE VB! Just one click and you’ll be helping to alleviate hunger for a local teen and their family. For more information, email us at programs@wearevb.wpenginepowered.com.


Due to the volume of assistance we provide, and our commitment to providing 100% volunteer assistance, we kindly ask that FUEL UP donations include only the specific items listed on our Amazon shopping list.


Download and use this form to track your donations or porch drop-offs and to keep with your tax records.

Click here to download the form.


WE ARE VB is committed to breaking down financial barriers to full scholastic participation for students in need. We believe every student should have the opportunity to participate in school activities that enhance their education and help shape their future as young adults.

Our Thrive grants provide every Virginia Beach high school with annual funding to empower at-risk students to fully participate in scholastic life. This funding allows school social workers/administrators to meet emergency and out-of-the box needs for individual students such as sports or club uniforms, school or club field trips, driver’s education courses, club participation fees, musical instruments, sports physicals, etc.

Your donations make this program possible!

For more information about the Thrive grants program, please contact programs@wearevb.wpenginepowered.com.


WE ARE VB provides need-based financial support for seniors, ensuring that financial barriers do not interfere with the joy and celebration of their senior year. We provide funding for yearbooks, senior portraits, cap and gown, prom, and school-based graduation after-parties. Graduation is a HUGE accomplishment for the student population we support, and they deserve to enjoy and participate in each of the special moments, alongside their peers.

We are always searching for HOMETOWN HEROES who can sponsor additional opportunities such as prom night restaurant dinners and transportation. Please contact us at programs@wearevb.wpenginepowered.com

College Scholarship

WE ARE VB is committed to fostering real change by breaking down the barriers to student success. Since 2017 we have awarded eight college scholarships to Virginia Beach high school students now attending Old Dominion University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Virginia, and Liberty University! Select scholarship funding is renewable for four years through a basic application process and by meeting standard requirements set by our organization.

The “John and Mary Beth Lugo Founders Scholarship” is awarded at the discretion of the WE ARE VB Board of Directors. Our network of Virginia Beach school social workers and administrators assists us in selecting students who have demonstrated the ability to overcome adversity and are uniquely poised to make the transition to higher education.

For more information about our College Scholarship program, please contact programs@wearevb.wpenginepowered.com.

Emergency Assistance

WE ARE VB works exclusively through our school system partners to provide emergency and “out of the box” assistance to families with critical or transitional needs that cannot be addressed through our standard programming model. Examples include transition to safe or permanent housing, clothing and school supplies and consistent nutritional assistance. Funding is limited annually, and awarded by vote of the Board of Directors.

For more information about our URGENT program, please contact programs@wearevb.wpenginepowered.com.


Taquan, College Scholarship Student

WE ARE VB is an organization that has helped me tremendously. I didn’t really know how I was going to make the transition from high school to college, I was homeless, and I didn’t really have anyone to guide me often as to which choices I should make concerning my future. This organization made it possible for me to have food, clothing, and all the (school) supplies necessary for me to start my freshman year off correctly. Without WE ARE VB I would not have been able to continue the rest of my life. From high school to college WE ARE VB has mostly encouraged me to be the catalyst for another person in need. Now more than ever I have been able to talk to those around me about how we can take control of our fate and achieve anything. I have been given a hunger from WE ARE VB to help children just like me because of the kindness that I have been shown. I will repay their kindness in full by returning these favors upon someone else less fortunate.

- Taquan B., Old Dominion University sophomore, WE ARE VB College Scholarship Awarded June 2017

Stephanie, School Social Worker

In my twenty years as a school social worker, I have interacted with many organizations however, I have never worked with an organization who is on the same caliber as WE ARE VB. Without their dedication and support for students and families in Virginia Beach Public Schools, I would have a difficult time helping the students and families that I work with at Salem HS. Whenever a family that I am working with needs food, clothing, financial assistance or a student needs to be paired with a mentor, WE ARE VB quickly jumps in and provides what is needed. Many of the seniors who I work with are now able to attend Prom and senior activities; such as senior cruises and GradFest, because WE ARE VB helped to purchase their prom dresses, tuxes, prom tickets, and tickets to the senior activities. Finding this support in the community was very difficult, until WE ARE VB came along. WE ARE VB is a generous organization and I have personally witnessed the positive difference they have made in the lives of so many students and families. I am grateful for all they do for the Virginia Beach Community.

- Stephanie Harris, MSW, School Social Worker for Virginia Beach Public Schools.

Tucker, Community Mentor

The WE ARE VB mentorship program has made a very positive impact on my life for the last three years. Being able to give back, especially to those in need at the high school that I attended, has been extremely rewarding. Whether it’s providing care packages, holiday dinners, academic advice, family advice, life lessons, or just being there with an open ear, it all feels good; and I can’t thank WE ARE VB enough for the opportunity.

- Tucker Pavlik, CDR, U.S. Navy, WE ARE VB mentor since 2017