Your browser does not support JavaScript! Partnership for Petersburg | First Lady of Virginia - Suzanne S. Youngkin Skip Navigation

First Lady Focus on
the Partnership for Petersburg

Bringing together more than 50 initiatives under six pillars, Governor Glenn Youngkin launched the Partnership for Petersburg initiative with state, local, community and faith leaders. With full support from the Commonwealth’s vast resources, the Partnership’s mission is to help Petersburg become one of the best cities to live, work and raise a family.

As she strives to come alongside Women+girls in Petersburg, the First Lady is regularly engaged in activities and monthly volunteerism with women’s groups, nonprofits, educational institutions, faith organizations and women-owned businesses. Scroll for updates on the “First Lady Focus” on the Partnership for Petersburg, and visit the Partnership for Petersburg website below for resources.

One Year Anniversary Progress

Economic Development
Public Safety

Governor and First Lady ready in classroomEDUCATION

  • Provided tutoring & mentoring services to 438 students in the 2022-23 school year by 52 tutors.
  • Petersburg City Schools received $3,172,772 M to combat learning loss, chronic absenteeism, and Virginia Literacy Act acceleration.
  • Before and after school care has been provided to 189 students in Partnership with the YMCA.
  • In June 2023, Richard Bland submitted a launch application to establish an innovative lab school in Petersburg.
  • Urban League of Greater Richmond provided a paid tutoring opportunity to HBCU students, allowing over 400 Petersburg City Public Schools students to receive zero-cost tutoring from 20 VSU students throughout the last school year.

First Lady poses with nursesHEALTH

  • Partnered with Amazon and Goodr to create a mobile grocery store.
  • Opened a maternal health hub to support new and expectant mothers.
  • Sponsored over 150 pop-up clincis providing a wide range of services.
  • The Petersburg Health Department re-opened its Men’s Health clinic ‘Monday Night Checkups’ in September 2022, providing free educational, counseling, testing, and treatment services to 66 adult men.
  • The Petersburg Health Department commenced an additional immunization clinic in September 2022, providing free services to over 410 clients since it opened on September 1st.
  • DMAS, together with Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) DentaQuest and Conexus, participated in over 236 community health-related events and mobile clinics in the City of Petersburg since August 2022.
  • 210 pregnant women received free prenatal and postpartum care through a targeted campaign to promote available maternal health services crafted by DMAS and Managed Care Organizations (MCOs).
  • Conexus, performed digital vision screenings of 1,055 Petersburg students, ultimately providing free in-person eye exams and prescription glasses to 440 students through their mobile clinic.
  • Nearly $30 million of federal funding was secured to upgrade Poor Creek Wastewater projects, positively impacting 31% of Petersburg residents and opening ~2,000 acres for commercial and industrial site development.
  • Petersburg received an additional $2.8 million in funding from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to perform stormwater upgrades and combat flooding in the Lakemont Neighborhood.

First Lady at podium PFP EventECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • DHCD’s Down Payment Assistant Program assisted six applicants in Petersburg in becoming purchasing home owners since February of 2023.
  • VIPC established the Petersburg Founder Fund in 2023 with $500,000 seeding the program and resulting in 25 $25,000 grants to new and existing small business owners in order to support the launch and growth of their local businesses.
  • $5 million state investment dedicated to advance pharmaceutical manufacturing and support production of essential medicine ingredients.
  • $16 million in state resources funded the creation of 193 new affordable housing units through the Affordable and Special Needs Housing program or private activity bond allocations.
  • 75 area residents now have gainful employment resulting from 5 job fairs the Virginia Employment Commission hosted in Petersburg.

First Lady poses with officersPUBLIC SAFETY

  • Through the Operation Ceasefire Grant Fund, the Attorney General’s Office hired two Special Assistant United States Attorneys and three additional state prosecutors to alleviate pressure on local prosecutors burdened by elevated case loads.
  • The Attorney General’s Office hired a Group Violence Intervention (GVI) Coordinator for the Petersburg area to elevate investigation strategies used in gang-related crimes, including procuring a Real Time Crime and Mobile Command Center, and coordinating with other GVI partners across the state to assist with crime trend analytics.
  • The Department of Juvenile Justice developed and implemented a process of immediate response for Juveniles committing crimes with guns, more than doubling the percentage of youth receiving related intervention and rehabilitative services.
  • Today, Petersburg has an additional 15 sworn officers since the initiation of the Partnership, an increase of 20%. This unprecedented increase in staffing levels was facilitated in part through a partnership with Virginia State University, Petersburg Police Department, Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy, and the Department of Criminal Justice Services which created a community-wide approach to build the sworn officer pipeline. The state distributed $800,000 in ARPA funds allowing the Petersburg Police Department to purchase field-altering equipment and technologies that support the work of sworn officers.
  • Violent crime incidents are down in Petersburg by 33% year-to-date. This success was achieved through multiple initiatives, including the deployment of Virginia State Police officers (“VSP Project”) support Petersburg Police Department in combatting violent crime. Despite meaningful progress, the incidence of homicide continues to be the largest violent crime. The Partnership remains committed to continued exploration of solutions to address increasing homicides.

Governor and First Lady at community tableCOMMUNITY

  • Established a digital hub with tools to help citizens access to local, state, and federal resource for children, education, health, housing, and workforce.
  • Created a world-class community resource center with the opening of the VCRC.
  • A Petersburg Early Childhood Navigator was hired by the Department of Education and will help faith leaders navigate the regulatory processes of establishing childcare facilities, and provide access to federal and state funding, education, training, and other supports.
  • Together the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Petersburg, and P4P Partners supported an over $200,000 expansion for the VCRC facility to ensure greater and more efficient service delivery. The VCRC is a centralized space that serves over 100 veteran and civilian clients each week to assist them with identifying education, health, and workforce resources.
  • There have been 10 major community events for the Partnership for Petersburg, including 42 people trained in administering Naloxone on Fentanyl Awareness Day.

Governor at ribbon cutting at Park and Ride opening of the Park and Ride deck at Multimodal Transit CenterTRANSPORTATION

  • Completed $8M, 75,000-square-foot Park and Ride facility that opened under-budget in Fall 2022 and has grown ridership 10% since opening.
  • Secured $450K in federal funds to further operational improvements focused on enhancing accessibility and connectivity.
  • Debuted 3rd roundtrip on the DC-Petersburg-Norfolk route; ridership has since grown by over 50% on the route and by 11% YoY at Petersburg Ettrick Station.
  • Secured $6.4M in federal funds and $4.3M in state rail funds to fully fund the project; environmental work will be completed next month (Oct. 2023).
  • Secured $58M in federal funds to advance the project to the design phase by end of 2023.
  • Access improvement studies are on track for completion in March, enabling the City to compete for the next round of SMART SCALE funding in August of 2024.


First Lady poses with Petersburg Job Fair attendees

Petersburg Job Fair

January 31, 2024
Petersburg, VA

The First Lady attended the Crater Regional Job Fair hosted by the Administration’s Partnership for Petersburg, Virginia State University and the City of Petersburg – reaffirming a commitment to growing opportunity for all through sustainable work.  Hundreds of job seekers engaged with 49 employers and service providers. In an ongoing effort to encourage the next generation, the First Lady joined students from Blandford Academy’s ‘Girls with Pearls’ program to speak to local leaders and accomplished community members about possibilities for Virginia’s Women+girls (W+g).

Governor and First Lady at donation ceremony

Canine Companions

December 1, 2023
Petersburg, VA

Governor Youngkin and First Lady Youngkin donated their fourth quarter salary and 8th salary donation to Canine Companions. The first dog was paired with the police department while the second awaited approval for pairing with a representative at Petersburg High School. The school board approved the addition of the dog this week, which will allow for the students and faculty at Petersburg Highschool to have a companion to lean on. Canines in class have been shown to boost social skills, mitigate behavioral problems, and increase attendance rates. Thank you to the Governor and First Lady and the incredible team at Canine Companions and Blandford Learning Center for coming together to make this initiative reach its full potential.

First Lady supporting our Girls with Pearls

Supporting our Girls with Pearls at Blandford Academy

November 8, 2023
Petersburg, VA

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and supported by the themes of sisterhood, fellowship and growth, Girls With Pearls at Blandford Academy in Petersburg, VA was launched. The First Lady, joined by leaders of the Petersburg Women’s Club and Communities In Schools (CIS) as well as other volunteer mentors, embarked on a learning journey with Blandford's sixth grade girls to hone etiquette and table manners as well as discuss best practices for nutrition and maintaining healthy habits. With new life skills that will carry our girls forward with confidence, the First Lady is grateful to the Girls with Pearls program for coming alongside these most precious Virginians to make them feel "treasured, valued and empowered." Learn more and get involved.

First Lady with James House staff

Recognizing the Good Works of the James House

October 4, 2023
Petersburg, VA

The First Lady had the opportunity to tour the James House in Prince George, Virginia. This nonprofit aims to support all who have experienced stalking, domestic violence, or sexual violence. James House provides individuals within the Greater Tri-Cities region in Virginia, including Petersburg, with cost-free, trauma-informed, confidential services in both English and Spanish. To learn more about the services they offer, please visit their website, or if you are in need of immediate assistance, you can call their 24-hour hotline at (804)-458-2840.

First Lady with young student

Embracing Education at Pleasants Lane Elementary School

September 13, 2023
Petersburg, VA

The First Lady and the Governor paid a visit to Pleasants Lane Elementary School where they were able to visit with the 3rd grade students. In coordination with Communities in Schools, they had the opportunity to answer questions about government, admire the students creativity through their drawings, and spark a love of learning and reading through the story of “Ferdinand the Bull.” To learn more about the Communities in Schools program, please visit their website.

First Lady with the Blandford Academy Teachers

Back-to-School Visit at Blandford Academy

August 29, 2023
Petersburg, VA

As Petersburg City Public School students and teachers gear up for back-to-school, the First Lady made a visit to Blandford Academy. She, and the ladies from the Petersburg Women’s Club, delivered school supplies to help the teachers prepare for the new year. While visiting, the First Lady had the opportunity to join the educators in discussion over lunch and thanked them for their commitment to educating Virginia’s youth. A most sincere thank you to all those in the Administration and beyond who donated the school supplies, and to those teaching on the frontlines. All make a huge impact on the students!

FLOVA with Hope Center volunteers

Recognizing the Efforts of the DCU Hope Center

July 20, 2023
Petersburg, VA

The First Lady paid a visit to the Hope Center in downtown Petersburg, where she toured the facility and interacted with volunteers, community members, and center leadership. During her tour, she was able to see the non-profit in action and witness the work they do to bring hope to Petersburg through the provision of groceries, warm meals, utility assistance, and health care to residents in need. To learn more about these and other resources the Hope Center provides, please visit their website.

FLOVA with Pregnancy Center leadership

Conversation with the Pregnancy Support Center of the Tri-Cities

July 20, 2023
Petersburg, VA

During Maternal Health Awareness month, the First Lady made a visit to the Pregnancy Support Center of the Tri-Cities in Petersburg, a non-profit serving expecting mothers and their children in the cities of Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights. While visiting, the First Lady received a behind-the-scenes look at the resources and supplies available to new mothers and additionally met with staff and board members to discuss challenges surrounding pregnancy and maternal health. To learn more about the Pregnancy Center’s services and offerings, please visit their website.

happenings-2023-06-21 dc train with interns

Best wishes to our Petersburg interns!

June 21,2023
Petersburg, VA

The First Lady stopped by Union Train Station to offer words of encouragement to students participating in the Petersburg Summer Internship and Employment Program on their first day of work. The internship program kicks off right as Virginia has been named the top state for Customized Workforce Training by Business Facilities’ State Rankings Report. Experiential learning programs such as Petersburg’s help train up a talented workforce that will help Virginia prosper for generations to come.

happenings-2023-05-10 visit to gnus

Visit to GNUS Corporation

May 10, 2023
Petersburg, VA

The First Lady toured GNUS Corporation in Petersburg, which is dedicated to supporting aging Veterans in need. The organization utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach to provide emergency and long-term housing, wellness, legal, family, spiritual growth and other services.

happenings-2023-05-10 teachers

Thank You Teachers

May 10, 2023
Petersburg, VA

During Teacher Appreciation Week, the First Lady joined Communities in Schools (CIS) of Petersburg at Blandford Academy to celebrate educators and administrators. She handed out apple-shaped, homemade cookies as part of an ongoing effort to Strengthen the Spirit of Virginia’s Women+girls (W+g). She also met with the school’s sparkling ‘Blandford Diamonds’--female, student leaders that meet to encourage positive transitions from elementary to middle school.

happenings-2023-04-18 garden week

Celebrating Historic Garden Week with the Petersburg Garden Club at Flowerdew Hundred

April 18, 2023
Petersburg, VA

The First Lady joined the Garden Club of Virginia and the Petersburg Garden Club at Flowerdew Hundred in Prince George County in celebration of the 90th anniversary of Virginia’s Historic Garden Week. The First Lady shared details of efforts to ‘Strengthen the Spirit of Virginia’s Women+girls (W+g)' and took in the raw beauty of the historic grounds.


Congratulations, Urban Baby Beginnings!

April 11, 2023
Petersburg, VA

The First Lady joined the Governor and Secretary of Health and Human Resources, John Littel, at the grand opening and ribbon cutting celebrating Petersburg’s maternal health hub at Urban Baby Beginnings. Urban Baby Beginnings provides support to women and families during pregnancy, birth and the first years of life. Learn more at

happenings1-2023-04-11 students at mansion

Welcoming Petersburg Students to the Virginia Executive Mansion

April 11, 2023
Richmond, VA

In partnership with Communities in Schools (CIS) of Petersburg and with donated transport by Virginia State University, the First Lady welcomed Petersburg middle and high schoolers to Capitol Square. The students and educators toured the State Capitol, discussed historic and current events and Virginia artists featured in the Executive Mansion’s Art Experience, and picnicked on lunch donated by Chick-fil-a on a sunny afternoon.

happenings-2023-03-02 ymca visit

Lessons at Cool Springs YMCA

March 2, 2023
Petersburg, VA

The First Lady enjoyed learning from the smart students at Petersburg’s Cool Springs YMCA for Read Across America Day! Thank you to all the volunteers, teachers and administrators who support Petersburg’s students.

happenings-2023-01-26regenesis visit

Lauding Regenesis’ Substance Recovery Care

January 26, 2023
Petersburg, VA

The First Lady met with members of Regenesis, a Petersburg-based substance use disorder recovery model that uses a multi-faceted and integrated approach to therapy, recovery homes and workforce preparedness. Special shout-out to Regenesis’ personal development program affecting individual growth and change. Learn more at