L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Wilder School Alumna Among This Year’s VCU 10 Under 10

October 29, 2018

Wilder School alumna Leah Fremouw (B.A.’08/H&S; M.P.A.’10/GPA) is among this year’s VCU Alumni 10 Under 10 award recipients who will be honored this Friday in a special ceremony.

The 10 Under 10 awards program recognizes alumni who have earned their first VCU degree within the past 10 years and who have enjoyed professional success, made important contributions to their community and/or loyally supported the university. Here’s her remarkable story:

Fremouw failed out of college at 19 and did not return to try again until she was 26. It was at that point, however, as a nontraditional student at VCU, that she found her stride.

Fremouw started slow, enrolling in just one class. She earned an A for the first time since 10th grade, and the success inspired her to keep the momentum. Not only did she earn a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and political science, she also took every advantage of what VCU had to offer its students and community. Fremouw got involved in the Student Government Association, was president of Voices for Planned Parenthood at VCU, traveled to Guatemala, and interned at a state delegate’s office and a local nonprofit.

She earned a master’s in public administration and was selected as a Wilder Fellow both years she attended, a prestigious honor granted to top graduate students at the Wilder School that provides them with in-state tuition, a stipend and professional work experience in their fields.

Today, Fremouw is vice president and director of marketing and community impact for Virginia Community Capital in Richmond. VCC is a community development financial institution, which is a financial entity designed to promote economic equality and community revitalization by investing economically in underserved communities.

In this role, Fremouw has successfully deployed more than $4 million in community-based lending through strategic programming. She updated VCC’s branding and marketing, leading a website launch in 2017 and conducting a companywide brand survey in 2018.

She and her husband, Jacob Powell, have a 3-year-old son, Hazen.

“VCU is the place I found me,” she says. “I walked in a college dropout without any goals or a sense of who I could become. I walked out with confidence in myself and a relationship with my community that I am proud of… not to mention the two degrees I earned with honors.”