Our Impact

It is our privilege and pleasure to serve the Virginia Beach community. Our simple goal is to ensure that homeless and at-risk high school students are seen, that their hopes and dreams are heard, and that barriers to their success are reduced or eliminated.

Our story, by the numbers…

Year WE ARE VB was founded.
Partnerships at all 12 Virginia Beach High Schools.
Students in supportive relationships with 30+ community mentors.
weeks of food served to hundreds of students during the school year.
committed in college scholarships in six years!
invested each year in removing barriers for at-risk students to participate in school experiences.

Our Impact


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

Ellen – Community Mentor

My association with WE ARE VB began in March 2019 when I began mentoring a senior student at Salem High School. He was a bit shy and reserved and a unique young man, but he was receptive to my involvement in his life. We started meeting for lunch once a month. His 20th birthday was quickly approaching so I had the opportunity to make it extra special. I encouraged him to invite a group of friends for a pizza lunch, followed by cake. I knew this meant a great deal to him! He graduated and is currently living with his parents and working full time. I am delighted to share that we are still in contact with one another. Thanks to WE ARE VB he and his family were provided with assistance during Covid19.

The 2019-2020 school year brought me to First Colonial High School, where I had the pleasure of working with another senior through the month of December, before he was transferred to a different school. Shortly after, I was invited to speak to the entire Senior class about opioid addiction and making smart choices as they moved toward graduation and onto college. You see I lost my nephew in the fall of 2018 to opioids. As you can image, speaking to teens on this topic continues to be a critical part of my life. After one of my presentations a remarkable young lady sought me out and I have been her WE ARE VB mentor ever since. This year, my mentee was granted a college scholarship by WE ARE VB to assist her with her transition to Old Dominion University.

WE ARE VB is an incredible nonprofit organization. I am so honored and proud to be associated with the organization and to feel like a part of their family.

- Ellen Hundley, Professional Designation?, WE ARE VB Community Mentor since 2019

Debbie – Assistant Principal

WE ARE VB is an essential component of the community. From the first day of its inception, the organization has provided students and their families with support that has strengthened its connection with the school and the community. Whether it’s providing students with food/clothing, the opportunity to attend a field trip/prom/ring dance, being able to help students get their Senior portrait, WE ARE VB is invested in supporting students. I have observed increased social and emotional benefits between their mentors and the students.

WE ARE VB has been and continues to be transparent about its purpose. Their actions reflect Align. Resolve. Empower. Because of them, students have been empowered and it has been reflected academically and emotionally. Knowing that this organization “sees” them and invests in them, students experience hope and success.

It is an honor to work with this outstanding organization!

- Debbie Shelton, Assistant Principal, First Colonial High School

Saniyah – College Scholarship Student

Being a child in a single-parent household many things are extremely difficult to pay for. Growing up I was never really as fortunate as the people around me. However, my mom has always tried to make sure my experiences were the best they could be.

Going to a University like Virginia Commonwealth has been one of the greatest blessings God could have given me. One of the first worries I had going into the school initially was how I would be able to afford it. Thankfully, the same year I was accepted into my first choice school I was gratefully awarded a scholarship by WE ARE VB. I’m not sure they understand how much they’ve helped my mother and me, to lift some of the weight off our shoulders, by awarding me this scholarship. Because of this scholarship, I have been able to avoid major debt and plan to stay debt-free in the years that continue. My plans for the following years, with the help of their generosity, would be continuing to grow the organization I created at Virginia Commonwealth and start mentoring young adults along with finding a mentor so I can continue to grow mentally and academically.

- Saniyah Phillips, Virginia Commonwealth University freshman, WE ARE VB College Scholarship awarded June 2019