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Signature Programs

Discussion Groups

Students are actively engaged in the program development seminar series. Through this series, Oliver Hill Scholars learn about ways to maximize their success on campus and hone their leadership skills. Program content is student-generated and frequently student-led. The seminar sessions are held on a bi-weekly basis and vary in regularity dependent upon each participant's class standing.

During these occasions the group entertains an assortment of student led topics of interest. Here you may find a lively discussion being waged about environmental pollution or politics during one session, while the focus can readily shift at another meeting to strategies to help minimize stress. These gatherings help further the bond formed between the Oliver Hill Scholars and facilitate their long and lasting friendships. 

Mentor Network

The mentoring program and one-on-one meetings with the director additionally provide individual support for each student.

The Mentor Network provides opportunity for Oliver Hill Scholars to test their career aspirations. Through the Network, participants interact with a variety of professionals whose occupations are of particular interest to the students. The scholars learn about the pathways these professionals have traveled and the pitfalls to avoid. Each participant is specially matched to a mentor that works in the Oliver Hill Scholar's professional area of interest. The connections established through this Network are pivotal in helping students define their future career choices and learn about important internship opportunities.

Here is snapshot of one scholar's experience:

"The mentor network is my favorite part about the program. This program has put me in touch with a member of the Foreign Service, which I hope to one day be a part of. So, I now have access to information and mentorship that I didn't before. Through my mentor, a Foreign Service Officer in the State Department, I've made important career decisions and gained insight as to how to follow my dream of working in the Foreign Service." Charlotte Bednarski, Class of 2020.

Community Service

Each semester Oliver Hill Scholars participate in a community service activity that supports the local Richmond population.  Whether providing words of encouragement to area youngsters about the value of a college education or helping the elderly secure shelter, Oliver Hill Scholars routinely report their personal satisfaction and fulfillment after investing their time in bettering others.  The Program also sponsors a weekend trip to a neighboring city.  There, we learn about the city, tour museums and other places of interest, and take advantage of cultural events.  This too provides an occasion for wonderful fellowship and discovery.

Hear from one scholar's takeaway from the service opportunity through the Oliver Hill Program:

"Our big focus is building community. I feel a strong love for the program because of how I connected I feel to the people in it. We drop our barriers to each other, and from that we build a greater understanding of the world." Isaiah Duplessis, Class of 2020. 

Team Building

The Oliver Hill Scholars program provides team building activities to build relationships with fellow scholars including the Team Odyssey High Ropes Course and Challenge Discovery. This has been a favored activity each year and each year’s cohort participates in exercises that empower students as well as are sensitive to various comfort levels. The course provides a wonderful opportunity for incoming students to get to know one another as well as begin to build relationships with upper level students.

Here is one scholar's takeaway from Team Building with the Oliver Hill Scholars Program:

"I love the team building. My favorite meetings are definitely the “you and your OH buds,” where we get the opportunity to know each other better. I cannot think of any other program or organization that has managed to gather so many accomplished and friendly students. I called it my scholarly family for a reason." Barbara Fujita, Class of 2020.

Fall Field Trip

During the academic year, Oliver Hill Scholars also have the opportunity to travel off campus and participate in activities designed to be intellectually and culturally stimulating.

I am personally thrilled, in particular, to learn of your interest in the Oliver Hill Scholars program; a program which allow participants to engage in any number of culturally stimulating activities, some of which concentrate on the broad experiences of the African-American community.

Here is one Oliver Hill Scholar's perspective on the unique travel opportunities:

"Our fall field trip has been my favorite part of the Oliver Hill Program thus far. The trip helped me develop close friendships and connections that will last a lifetime with my fellow Oliver Hill students." Anthony Thomassey, Class of 2021.