Tidewater Community College student Elisabeth Richardson is the recipient of the 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award.
Richardson is the founder and director of a food pantry and community garden operated from River Shore Baptist Church in Portsmouth. The homeschooled Portsmouth native said it began as a Girl Scout Gold Award project and blossomed into an outreach connected with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. It distributes healthful food to families one Sunday a month at the church.
“Some people have to decide between putting food on the table and paying the light bill,” said Richardson, a business administration major who is finishing her final two semesters at TCC.
“Martin Luther King had the ability to rally people together from all walks of life,” Richardson said. “When people come together for a cause even if they haven’t been personally affected – that’s what needs to happen to make positive change.”
“For the community garden portion, we lease the gardens to the community; we have four beds,” she explained. “They donate 10 percent of their harvest to the food pantry to encourage a philanthropic attitude toward the community.”
Richardson plans to enroll in either the University of Virginia or Virginia Commonwealth University and double-major in accounting and finance. She plans to earn a master’s in management and a doctorate in decision sciences.