Sixteen students arrive at Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center to a 10-foot-high chain-link fence laced with razor wire. They identify themselves and the gate ratchets open. Guards greet them just inside the nondescript brick building, verify they’re allowed on-site, and search everyone. Only IDs and jackets are allowed beyond this point. The guards alert their counterparts in the dining hall and the women’s residential cottage and the students enter.
At first glance, it may not seem like these 16 University students have much in common with the residents they meet at Bon Air. But as they begin to share stories of comfort and safety, of family and friends, it’s soon apparent that the lives of teenagers — whether inside these austere walls or at a liberal arts college less than five miles away — maybe aren’t so different.
This profile appeared on the University of Richmond website.