RICHMOND, Va. -- One Richmond organization is helping to make sure every student has the opportunity to attend college, regardless of their zip code.
This year, 12 high school students who live in Richmond's public housing communities are headed off to college. They were all celebrated at a special event on Thursday.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and others were on hand for an Open House In The Village on Virginia Union's campus.
Three of the 12 students earned a scholarship from the Virginia Association of Housing and Community Development officials to help them cover tuition costs.
Several partners, or members of RRHA's village, came together to donate dorm room essentials, school equipment and more to jumpstart the students' college careers.
Students will be attending a number of schools, including JMU, the University of Mary Washington and Virginia State, like Vanity Gilmore-Mondrey.
She said she's looking forward to studying criminal justice.
"I'm very grateful for RHA for doing this, I think it's like a good thing that outweighs the bad stuff going on and it was well-needed and other kids should definitely look into it," Gimore-Mondrey said.
"We should never let our location or station in life be the destination, we should always thrive to rise up. Sometimes, we need some help to get there if want to and that's what this event is all about tonight," Stoney said.
These students come from the Mosby, Hillside and Fairfield Court neighborhoods.