Better Future Fund


What is Better Future Fund?

Four Central Virginia companies (Papa John’s, WRIC 8News, Virginia529 and Richmond Raceway) have teamed up to provide educational assistance to Richmond families through a fun project that benefits students and teachers.

The program is open to all fifth grade public school students throughout the Greater Richmond area, including Charlottesville.

How Do Students Enter?

Each year, students, teachers and schools are invited to submit a short essay. The next topic and deadline will be announced in early 2021.


Prizes will be awarded to students, teachers and schools.

  • Five grand-prize student winners will be selected.
  • One teacher whose class participates in a writing practice will be selected.
  • Each school with a winning student will receive a prize as well.

2020 Winners

2019-2020 Better Future Fund essay contest winners
Clara Smith (top left), Hanmi Akinbobola (bottom left), Khiarae Fuller (top middle), Sandra Lee (bottom middle), Joshua Fleming (top right), Tanner Atkins (bottom right).

The winners of the 2019-2020 Better Future Fund essay contest, have been selected.

The five students who won include Khiarae Fuller from John B. Cary Elementary School, Tanner Atkins from Salem Church Elementary School, Clara Smith from Kaechele Elementary School, Joshua Fleming from Jackson Davis Elementary School and Hanmi Akinbobola from J. G. Hening Elementary School.

Each grand prize winner receives a $2,000 Virginia529 account, a family pack of tickets to a NASCAR race at Richmond Raceway, Papa John’s Pizza for themselves and their class and a $1,000 award for their school to go towards fifth grade graduation ceremonies.

One elementary school teacher, Sandra Lee from Elizabeth Redd Elementary School, won a prize for having the highest participation rate among her classroom. Lee was awarded a $500 gift card.

2019 Winners

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