10 People to Watch: Virginia Cumberbatch

10 People to Watch: Virginia Cumberbatch

Virginia Cumberbatch | Coordinator of Client Services, Hahn, Texas & Founder, Austin Area Urban League Young Professionals

The passionate Austin native made a post-grad return to Austin, bringing change to the city she loves.

Why Austin?
Beyond the opportunities God has afforded me with, Austin is continually striving to improve its living conditions. It is a blessing to be a part of those efforts and a privilege to work in a city that encourages collaboration and innovation. 

What is your role at Hahn? 
As Coordinator of Client Services, I help our clients determine their message and tell their story to those best positioned to hear it. 

What career moment are you most proud of?
One of my clients at Hahn provided counseling for those devastated by the Bastrop fires, helping people find the peace and confidence to move forward. To be trusted to tell this story was a great privilege.
In addition, at the National Urban League Conference this summer—opened by President Obama—I was awarded on behalf of the AAULYPs with the Rookie Chapter of the Year for creating a platform for social advocacy in Austin. Both these experiences solidified what I believe I’ve been called to do: to be a voice for a disenfranchised population. 

What’s in store for 2013?
I hope to establish programs within the AAULYPs that help bridge the gap in professional development for students of color who are not getting the work experience of their white counterparts. I’d also like to expand our existing program for first high school students to prepare them to be successful first generation college students. But in a broader sense, I want to cultivate dialogue in Austin, challenging the social and cultural institutions that tend to alienate communities of color.

For more information about Virginia’s work, visit hahntexas.com and aaul.org.

Virginia’s Austin Essentials
• Buffalo Exchange (2904 Guadalupe St.)—Since high school, Buffalo Exchange has been my go-to style hub. 
• Madam Mam’s (2514 Guadalupe St.)—Although there are many options in Thai cuisine in Austin, you can’t beat fast, cheap and delicious.
• Nothing beats a Sunday morning with my family in worship at Agape Christian Ministries (1011 Gattis School Rd.)—so much to give thanks for and the only way to start your week.