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Personality: Dr. Addie J. Briggs

Spotlight on honorary chair of ‘Jazz Inside Out’ Virginia Higher Education Fund benefit

6/10/2016, 6:27 a.m.
Dr. Addie J. Briggs is accustomed to raising funds for educational causes that benefit Richmond area youth. Patients at Dr. ...

Dr. Addie J. Briggs is accustomed to raising funds for educational causes that benefit Richmond area youth. Patients at Dr. Briggs’ Eastern Henrico pediatric practice are familiar with her passion for promoting reading among her patients. She is known as the doctor who gives each patient a book during checkups. She also has lobbied congressional representatives to provide federal funding to purchase books for thousands of Virginia children up to age 5.

Dr. Briggs is so convinced that education and reading are gateways to knowledge and success that her latest endeavor is to raise funds for scholarships, books, emergency aid and mentoring activities for at-risk students.

She is the honorary chair of this year’s Virginia Higher Education Fund’s “Jazz Inside Out” benefit.

The fundraiser is 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 10, at the Willow Oaks Country Club, 6228 Forest Hill Ave. Parties will be held in the ballroom and on the terrace which has views of the James River and the golf course.

Performances will include the Cloud 9 Band, Quintessential Jazz Ensemble, comedian James Lawson and Kemel Patton, who will lead line dancing.

Despite her busy schedule, Dr. Briggs makes time to support such causes because she is convinced that education not only is a “way out,” but also a prescription for lifelong health and happiness.

Dr. Briggs and the members of the Virginia Higher Education Fund are especially concerned about students who have experienced homelessness. Many such students fail to complete high school or pursue college and graduate or professional schools.

“Half of our scholarships each year benefit students that have been in the foster care system,” Dr. Brigg says. She encourages churches, fraternities, sororities and other community organizations to become more collaborative in raising funds to help send students to college.

Last year, the Virginia Higher Education Fund, a Henrico County-based nonprofit established in 2010, raised more than $30,000 during the music event. This year’s goal is to raise enough to start an endowment.

Dr. Briggs is confident the goal will be met because of continuing support from individuals and small businesses. “It’s that kind of love and support that let’s us know we’ll meet our challenges,” says Dr. Briggs.

Meet this week’s Personality, Dr. Addie J. Briggs:

Date and place of birth: May 18 in Petersburg.

Current area of residence: Richmond.

Alma mater(s) with degree(s): Armstrong High School, 1987, class valedictorian; Howard University, bachelor’s degree; Virginia Commonwealth University, M.D. degree.

When and why I knew medicine was for me: I decided at age 8 that I was going to be a doctor because my mom, who is a nurse, said that doctors make more money and they are in charge. To an 8-year-old, being in charge with a lot of money sounded like a great thing.

Why the Virginia Higher Education Fund is important:  The organization supports young people who have experienced challenging life conditions and are considered “at risk.”

VA Higher Education Fund’s biggest success: Our outreach to students who have been homeless. Only 2 percent of students who have been homeless pursue higher education.