We talk a lot about the strength of our #SpiderFamily and we love showing off those innovators who dedicate their time and energy to making a difference in their communities. Those special Spiders — like Kelly Wease Chenault, W’91, and her daughter Courtney, ’19 — truly make us proud.

The Chenaults founded #TheALEXProject, which stands for Actively Loving & Encouraging Xcellence, at a low-income Richmond elementary school to match adult mentors to students. An “ALEX” (aka volunteer) spends at least one hour per week in the classroom — many of them far more — supporting the teacher and encouraging the students. The Chenault duo also raises money for the school through social media that goes toward purchasing books and classroom supplies, as well as funding field trips for students who need help.

Courtney is majoring in leadership studies and political science and also takes time to volunteer in the program she helped create.

“Education, starting in elementary school, lays the foundation for everything you do,” Courtney says. “Having an increased number of adults inside the school showing the students that they care and want to see them succeed is really impactful for them.”

We know the community is benefiting from these Spiders’ passion and hard work!

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