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VA Students Attend Summer Camp on Fighting Poverty


Monday, May 18, 2009   

Richmond - Instead of scooping ice cream or lounging by the pool, Virginia college student Kelsey Miller will spend her summer vacation fighting poverty. Miller joins 40 students sent out to towns all across the state to knock on doors and make one-on-one connections with residents, with the goal of encouraging community involvement.

Miller says there's no better time for her to volunteer.

"This is the point of my life where I can do this; I have no attachments, I have nothing to hold me back, and so I feel like I just need to go head-first into things like this. "

In addition to conversations, Miller and the other volunteers will register voters, but Miller says what she's most looking forward to is talking with other Virginians.

"To me, community organizing is about building relationships; people aren't used to having someone ask them what they need."

Miller will be spending her summer in Abington, in southwestern Virginia.

She says she's been surprised to learn that many of the issues surrounding poverty are deeply-rooted in community standards and in government policies.

In the fall, Miller will be a sophomore at the University of Virginia and plans on becoming an English teacher. Her volunteer program is run by the non-partisan Virginia Organizing Project.

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