Summer Class Inspires Local High School Student’s College Trajectory

Autumn Hong headshot Autumn Hong,  
3 weeks ago

"I can say with certainty that Inspire is what gave me the confidence to pursue this industry." - Lucy Griffith, Inspire Summer 2023 Student

As the sun climbs higher in the sky and the cicada’s hum starts playing, a familiar warmth settles in, signaling the impending arrival of summer. We anticipate this beloved season and reminisce on summers gone by. Lucy Griffith, senior at HB Woodlawn and alum of the inaugural UVA | Northern Virginia Inspire Summer cohort, recounts her time with us last summer. Lucy Griffith and classmate

“I took the Introduction to Branding and Marketing class. This class provided me with a valuable glimpse into a subject I was interested in studying in college but never learned about in high school.  The small class size fostered collaboration and allowed me to connect with students with a shared passion,” Griffith explains.

One of Inspire’s greatest assets is its real-world application during weekly excursions. Griffith tells us, “The highlight of the week was visiting local digital marketing and public relations firms and hearing directly from their founders and CEOs.” Last summer, Griffith and her classmates visited Pinkston, a local public relations firm, and PBJ Marketing, a DC-based digital marketing agency. 

Inspire gives students from all over the DC metro area a taste of UVA excellence, without having to leave the comfort of the DMV.  As an Arlington resident, Inspire’s location was convenient for me, especially considering I was balancing the program along with a competitive summer sport,” confirms Griffith.  

The impact this class had on Griffith is truly undeniable. “Next year, I’ll be studying public relations at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications. I can say with certainty that Inspire is what gave me the confidence to pursue this industry,” she says.

Well done, Lucy. From all of us at UVA | Northern Virginia, we wish you the best of luck as you continue your education journey!


Inspire is the UVA | Northern Virginia enrichment program for rising 10th-12th graders to explore new interests and skills. Introduction to Branding and Marketing is a one-week course covering the basics of marketing principles and branding strategies through real-world examples. UVA | Northern Virginia will welcome the next class of Introduction to Branding and Marketing students this July.