Citizen Information and Resources
Feb. 21, 2020
Chesterfield County, VA – Today, Chesterfield County, in partnership with the Asian and Latino Solidarity Alliance of Central Virginia (ALSACV), announced that applications are now open for My Chesterfield Academy, a special program designed to empower residents, especially those from multicultural communities, to understand and navigate Chesterfield County’s government as well as other community resources. The first academy began in 2019 with 22 participants from 11 home countries, including Mexico, Egypt, China, Senegal, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba and Korea.
During the academy, participants will tour county facilities and meet with government and school leaders in sessions designed to answer the unique questions they may have. They will explore how their local government works, learn how to resolve issues and learn how to obtain information and resources. The academy consists of seven sessions, held on Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., beginning on April 30 and continuing May 14, May 28, June 11, Sept. 24, Oct. 8 and Oct. 22. Dinner will be provided during each session. A graduation ceremony will be held at the November Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Victor Chacon, a 2019 graduate of the academy, highly recommends the program. “It was very important to me to participate in the academy,” said Chacon. “I learned about all the different programs and services Chesterfield County offers to its residents. There are many families, not just in Chesterfield County but nationwide, and not just Latinos, but people from many countries, cultures and backgrounds. They are great workers and want to succeed, but they need opportunities such as My Chesterfield Academy.”
After completing the program, graduates will have the knowledge and skills needed to help their communities better understand and access government services and will also have the opportunity to interact with residents from other multicultural communities through the My Chesterfield Academy alumni network.
“I am Latino, and I have been married for 20 years and have three children,” Chacon continued. “My oldest daughter has Down Syndrome and, thanks to the academy, I was able to gain knowledge about county and school programs and services to better assist my daughter and my family.”
Applications for the 2020 academy will be accepted through Friday, March 20. Preferred applicants for the program are those who are involved in their communities, who have exhibited leadership abilities and who are willing to disseminate the information they learn during the academy throughout their communities. To fully benefit from the program, applicants should understand English.
Accepted applicants will be notified of their acceptance in early April. After being accepted into the program, participants are required to pay a $50 registration deposit that will be returned upon graduation.
My Chesterfield Academy is hosted by the Chesterfield County Department of Citizen Information and Resources (CIR). It is funded entirely through corporate sponsorships and donations to ALSACV, a 501(c)3 organization.
For more information about the academy or how to apply, visit www.chesterfield.gov/MyChesterfieldAcademy, email MCA@chesterfield.gov or call Juan Santacoloma, CIR multicultural community engagement coordinator, at 804-796-7085.