Student activities such as the Student Council, National Honor Society and the Student Participation Association focused on building leadership, service and academic skills within the VIA. The Student Council addressed problems African-American youth faced during segregation and taught skills on how to navigate life, school and the future. They had leadership development lessons that taught students how to be change agents in a time oppression and discrimination. Skills taught included how to: be sensitive, recognize where change is needed and devise plans to handle a variety of situations. The council gave awards to students who had great academic achievements and who had worked with guidance office and National Honor Society to establish test prep programs and tutoring groups. They planned inclusive activities that aimed to improve student- faculty relationships, raise the standards of students/schools, and promote school unity and cooperation. During the talks of desegregation, the Student Council made it a priority to prepare students for integration by hosting cultural programs and teaching self-control through a variety of interactions.  

The Student Participation Association (SPA) was grounded in the philosophy of student citizenship and used experiences in school as a way to prepare as leaders of the future.   The SPA encouraged students to get active in the community by attending “city council, school board, chamber of commerce meetings to get first hand experience in parliamentary procedures.” The student organizations had homeroom/class representatives, a constitution, elections, and reflected a bicameral government.  The SPA taught skills of leadership, followership, and scholarship going so far as to distinguish the differences between being a leader and leadership. Program themes planned by the student associations included: How to Earn a Living, Improving One’s Personality, and Human Relation Skills, for example.  

In addition to the student associations, there were related associations of adults such as the Virginia Teachers Association (VTA) and the Negro Organization Society (NOS).