Neighborhood Resource Center and Code VA

Today two agencies doing innovative programs in the Richmond area are highlighted: The Neighborhood Resource Center and Code VA.

You can listen to the show here

picture courtesy of NRC
picture courtesy of NRC

Carol talks with Cheryl Groce-Wright, NRC Executive Director about  her being the first recipient of the Pat Asch Fellowship rand her plans to bring what she learns through the award funds to the center.

Neighborhood Resource Center The existence of a neighborhood resource center in Greater Fulton is the result of hundreds of neighborhood and non-neighborhood volunteers coming together to create a place that through its programs will help break the cycle of low-educational attainment and poverty in the community.



In the second part of the interview, Carol talks with Chris Dovi, co-founder of Code Va about his role in the center and what led him and his team to start a center to teach kids to code.

Code VA is a 501(c)(3)  non-profit built to promote computer science and computer programming all across Virginia. We are grateful for the partnership we have developed with’s team and look forward to making computer science education a reality for our communities.

The Expressive Arts in Richmond

Today Carol interviews expressive and alternative therapists from around Richmond.

Meet Julia Cuccaro, a dance movement therapist; Andrea Shipley, who practices mindfulness and coaching; and Todd Stonnell, Melanie Gardner and Becky Jacobson, who are all art therapists.

You can listen to the show here


WRIR 97.3 FM Richmond Independent Radio

Therapists Interviewed: 

Julia Cuccaro, MA, R-DMT – Julia works at Parham Doctors’ Hospital

Julie CuccaroJulia is a registered dance/movement therapist (R-DMT) who specializes in trauma and has a proven ability integrating traditional and creative, body-based therapeutic techniques. She offers experience tailoring interventions to all age groups and across a wide range of diagnoses. With a background in anthropology, she approaches the therapeutic relationship with a keen sensitivity to multiculturalism and diversity.

Julia holds an MA from Drexel University, where she was a member of the Alpha Eta Society, the National Scholastic Honor Society for Allied Health Professions. She received her BA in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated magna cum laude and with distinction in anthropology. Julia recently relocated to Richmond, VA with her fiancé, Caleb, and their two cats, Bacchus and Semele.


Melanie Gardner, LPC, ATR-BC, CTSThe Creative Arts Space 

melanie gardnerMelanie Gardner is a Certified Trauma Specialist who works with individuals from 5 years of age +.  Her specialties include trauma, sexual violence, attachment and abandonment issues, grief and loss, anxiety, mood disorders, childhood behavioral problems, complex family dynamics and parenting.   In addition to the above, Ms. Gardner has been working with individuals dealing with trauma (including human trafficking), violence, abuse, self mutilation, grief, loss, abandonment and attachment issues for the past ten years.

She is a Board Certified Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor.   In addition, she has advanced specialties as a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist and Certified Trauma Assessment Specialist.  She is a Qualified Expert in Clinical Trauma.  She has provided numerous presentations on a local, state and national level including presenting on the impact of sexual trauma in collaboration with the Office of Attorney General of Virginia.


Becky Jacobson, ATR,Mind Body Art Essentials

Through offering art therapy and mind-body therapies I have combined my passions as I serve the Richmond community, and communities overseas. After studying Therapeutic Massage in Auckland, New Zealand; earning a Masters in Art Therapy from The George Washington University; and completing a Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training I am now determined to share the power of art, creativity, yoga, and massage with others! I have experience working within local and internation communities, within hospital settings, within behavioral health programs, and within a variety of art and wellness centers.  Not only do I love sharing these modalities with others but I also practice what I preach.  I make art as a form of personal self-expression on a regular basis, creating visual journals, and I incorporate holistic living and yogic practices into my daily life. I look forward to sharing these transformative services with you!


Andrea Shipley, M.A.  She practices at Williamsville  Wellness Center

Andrea-ShipleyAndrea Shipley, M.A. is currently serving Williamsville Wellness as the Mindfulness Based Life Coach. She received her Master’s Degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California, where she also completed a year-long clinical residency. Before coming to Williamsville, she worked as a Wilderness Therapy field guide at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Her love of nature stands out as she frequently holds coaching sessions outdoors, making use of the beautiful grounds at Williamsville. She is passionate about helping people increase their self-awareness and healthy coping skills using mindfulness practices. Her work prepares people to find more peace in their present experience and cultivate more satisfaction as they move through difficult times. Her education in Psychology makes her a strong and knowledgeable advocate for the psychological work done by the Williamsville therapists.


Todd Stonnell – He practices at Williamsville  Wellness Center and volunteers at the Fan Free Clinic


Todd is the art therapist at Williamsville Wellness. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Longwood University and his Master’s degree in Art Therapy from The George Washington University. Todd comes to Williamsville Wellness with a wealth of experience practicing art therapy with various populations, including adults living with HIV, adolescents suffering from emotional and behavioral disturbances, children on the Autism spectrum, as well as children undergoing treatment for cancer in India. He practices a client-centered and existential approach to therapy, and he also has training in trauma treatment. As an artist, Todd is interested in several modalities, such as painting, drawing/illustration, bookmaking, stained glass, and found object art.