About Podium RVA
In 2008, David L. Robbins and Lindy Bumgarner founded Podium RVA to answer an all-too-frequent need in urban school systems. Throughout our country, a disparity exists between the opportunities available to youth in city schools versus those available to youth in surrounding counties.
Prior to Podium’s founding, youth in Richmond's public schools (RPS) lacked many of the writing and creative platforms commonly available at nearby schools. Richmond youth are incredibly talented but are not often provided with the resources to showcase their voices and achievements.
The essence of Podium is youth creativity and imagination. Exploring writing as something you can do for yourself -- and yourself alone --allows students to control their narrative and create their own world. Podium is a platform for the voice and imagination of Richmond's youth writers.
Podium serves a diverse range of race, ethnicities, and genders, free of cost, in more than 400 hours of workshops to more than 400 youth each year. The creative content of these programs follows Education Northwest’s 6+ Writing Trait model, aligns with international standards defined by the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, and is creatively infused by our own students. Youth are the ultimate decision makers regarding program direction, content, and design. It is Podium’s long-term goal to create a culture that celebrates writing and advocates for every youth in Richmond to have their own platform for personal expression.