President and CEO


Barbara Couto Sipe has worked in the Greater Richmond community for over 19 years developing several large-scale collective initiatives to improve the lives of children, youth and older adults including: Smart Beginnings of Greater Richmond and the Regional Age Wave Plan. Previously, as Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, Barbara directed staff teams and coalition efforts resulting in improvement and expansion of youth program services in the Richmond area.

In 2013, the NextUp RVA Board of Managers hired Barbara as its first employee and Executive Director.  Barbara has since led the organization through start-up to proof-of- concept to now a strong 7 year-old organization poised to accomplish its vision that all RPS middle schoolers have access to high-quality out-of-school-time learning experiences that engage them in school and keep them on track. 

A proud alumna of Virginia Commonwealth University, Barbara lives with her husband, his NASCAR passion, two children, three grown stepsons, 12 hens, a dog, 4 cats, a bearded dragon, a chinchilla named Snowball, and a dread of yet another breakdown when her children plead for another pet.