RICHMOND, Va. -- While she grew up in Hanover County, Alexsis Rodgers spent a large part of her childhood inside Faith Landmarks Church on Chamberlayne Avenue.
"Learning faith, learning values, learning strength and commitment to community, to community service," Rodgers' best friend, Dakia Knight, said.
Knight met Rodgers there.
"Faith is very important to her, strong beliefs, she definitely has those beliefs still," Knight said.
Knight remembers Rodgers' dad practicing sports with the pair while her mom cooked with them in the kitchen.
She said it was when Alexsis, or Lexi as she calls her, got to Hanover High School that she started to form her political perspective.
"She was always centered on doing the greater good for everyone, but that progressiveness, because you wouldn't get that out of Hanover, right, that shift probably happened for her a little at Hanover, but more when she got to VCU and carving out her own space," Knight said.
Rodgers was elected student body president, a victory that friend Camille Blanchard said exemplifies Rodgers' ability to win over strangers.
"When she went to high school, she came out of a private school and went to a public high school and won class president among people who had known each other for years," Blanchard said.
But, her friends said it was at VCU where Rodgers came into her own.
"She spent a lot of time there finding herself in politics when she started to canvas for the Democratic party," Knight said. "She did the intro speech for when Obama came for his rally here in Richmond."
And, started refining a platform that she's running on today.
"Her platform is truly grounded in equity, justice integrity, authentic care and concern for the citizens of Richmond," Blanchard said.
Blanchard added that her friend knows how to build a coalition around her that will help her govern for everyone.
"She didn't sit in a room and think about her own ideas, she reached out to experts, multi-generational experts, mutli-cultural experts and said 'how do we solve the things that are most important to the members of our community?'" Blanchard said.
🗳️Complete Local Coverage: Election 2020
To learn more about key local elections, from Congressional seats to mayoral races to school board seats, click here for the CBS 6 voter's guide.
Watch CBS 6 News at 7 p.m. with Bill Fitzgerald on TV, WTVR.com/LIVE or now streaming on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Android TV. Just search "WTVR Richmond" in your app store.