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Community helps graduating seniors pay for caps and gowns

Posted at 4:07 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 21:54:51-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Dr. Marla Crawford said when she was a teenager in Richmond Public Schools, her teachers put her on a path to success.

So it made sense to Crawford to give back to the Richmond Public Schools community when she learned some graduating seniors were in need of help.

"The reason I’m doing this is that I’m a product of RPS and the educators were phenomenal to me as a teen mother that grew up in the 1980s," the Virginia Union graduate said.

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What Crawford did was donate to JUST C.

The Richmond nonprofit bought caps and gowns for Richmond and Henrico County seniors not able to afford the graduation garb.

"It did concern me because it takes a lot of work and a lot of dedication and just being teenagers to make such a milestone," Crawford said. "It should be rewarded and they should be able to be happy about their achievement."

The story touched more people than just Crawford. Others donated as well, including a $5,000 check from an anonymous donor.

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JUST C Founder Chenice Johnson was blown away by the generosity. She said every donation, no matter the size, was tremendously helpful. In fact, she was able to collect enough money, she was able to purchase extra cap and gown combos for next year's graduating class.

Johnson wanted to thank the community.