|Governor McAuliffe and Unity Bowling.|
Freshman Unity Bowling received a 2014 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award at a special ceremony at the Governor's Mansion on Apr. 10. Bowling received the award primarily for her work with Read Aloud Virginia, where she began volunteering at age 9 by spearheading a book drive. In fourth grade, Bowling worked with a student having trouble reading in school, and in middle school she created the Read Along with a Pal Program (RAPP) in which she recruited students to mentor others needing reading help, worked with teachers to develop study plans, and mentored a student herself.
Bowling has organized, collected and distributed more than 6,000 books to children and families across the Commonwealth. She has also helped sustain a children’s library established in 2011 in the village of El Calejon in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, Bowling has volunteered many hours at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, has raised funds for Safe Harbor in Richmond, taught life skills through Maddie’s Blankets, and raised more than $3,000 and 500 books by sponsoring a benefit ballet performance of Alice in Wonderland.