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2009 Graduate – Jacob William Holder


Jacob William HolderRichmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Like all Virginia municipalities incorporated as cities, it is an independent city and not part of any county.

The history of Richmond, Virginia as a modern city dates to the early seventeenth century, and is crucial to the development of the colony of Virginia, the United States Revolutionary War, and the Civil War. After Reconstruction, Richmond’s location at the falls of the James River helped it develop a diversified economy and as a land transportation hub.

In 1741, St. John’s Church was built in the present day neighborhood of Church Hill, the oldest neighborhood in the city, overlooking downtown Richmond, Shockoe Bottom and Shockoe Slip. Richmond was chartered as a town in 1742.

Shockoe Bottom was a center for slave trading. It is believed that between 1800-1865, 300,000 slaves were sent from Shockoe Bottom to work in the Deep South. Shockoe Bottom also serves as the burial ground for thousands of Africans.

In 1780, Virginia’s state capital was moved from Williamsburg to Richmond. In 1781, under the command of Benedict Arnold, Richmond was burned by British troops. Yet Richmond shortly recovered, and, in May 1782, was incorporated as a city.

And speaking of recovery, please meet Mr. Jacob William Holder.  Jacob recovered from a less than ideal public school system in Virginia, by earning his diploma from Citizens’ High School.  Jacob chose Citizens’   when his family moved to Richmond.  He thoroughly enjoyed the public school system where he used to live, but struggled almost immediately in the new school.  “The school was just not conducive to my learning style.”

With the loving support of his parents, Jacob enrolled with Citizens for his Junior and Senior years.   Jacob was able to complete the two year curriculum in 1 year, 8 months, and 26 days.  He did this with a near perfect GPA too!

“I have a great family.  My parents have been very supportive as well as my brother and sister.  I now have friends that are attending Citizens’.  I feel great about getting my diploma.  It has allowed me to enroll in John Tyler Community College.  I have already finished my first semester.”

Jacob plans to earn his AA degree from John Tyler and then transfer to a four year university  to earn a bachelors’ in business.  With the drive and dedication he has displayed so far, and the love and support from his family, we know he will succeed.

Jacob William Holder is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for February 2009.