#3 of 30 Women of Excellence to celebrate 30 Years of Women in Rotary

Nominated by Richard Cunningham, edited by John Borst
 
Alexandria Ritchie joined the family of Rotary, when in 2010, at the age of fifteen she joined her high school Interact Club. In 2014 she founded a Rotaract Club at John Tyler Community College. A year later, Alex, she revitalised the Rotaract Club at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and remained until 2017. However, in 2016 she also joined the Rotary Club of James River, in Richmond, Virginia.
 
Now only twenty-four she maintains top grades while at the same time registering over 1000 hours annually on Rotary/Rotaract volunteering. In 2019, she will become the James River membership chair.
 
Although Alex has been described as “modest,” she is also characterised as “forceful” and “innovative”. In 2016 she became District 7600’s Rotaract Chair where she has been working to build a meaningful district infrastructure to help Rotaractors find their place in Rotary and become effective leaders, a position she still holds. During 2016, The James River club sponsored Alex’s trip to the Seoul convention where she made a big impression. That year, she also travelled to Honduras on humanitarian work sponsored by VCU.
 
The 2018-2019 Rotary Year has been even busier. In the fall of 2018, she was the coordinator of the Zone 33/34 Summit’s first ever Rotaract program where she facilitated multiple sessions. This year she is also the Rotary International Rotaract Committee Co-Chair for the Rotaract pre-convention in Hamburg, Germany.
 
Ritchie completed her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from VCU in May 2018 and is now in the process of applying to medical school  to become a physician so as she wrote, “I can make service my entire life and bring people a sense of possibility and hope through medicine and a spirit of innovation.”
 
 
Although it is known to few people, Alex has already achieved this goal. She is the founder and CEO of a medical device start-up in Richmond called DuraSafe, which is working to revolutionise the epidural process for future moms. 
 
Alexandria Ritchie describes her journey in Rotary this way:
 
“I joined because Interact and Rotaract have taught me the value of sustainable service and effective leadership through the empowerment of others.  Rotary is my second family, and they are by my side with every step of my journey, encouraging me and believing in my dreams. I fell in love with Rotary because it is an organisation of people who believe that we can change the world through relationship-building and innovative service to those around us.  I have stayed in Rotary because it has changed my life and it has truly helped me become who I am today.  It is an integral part of myself and my vision for the future.  Rotary allows us to make lasting, sustainable change through the service of others which is one of the greatest opportunities I could ever ask for.”
 
As the nominator, Richard Cunningham wrote, “This is a lady who will impact the World!”
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