VHCC Students Visit Virginia Lawmakers

Group photo with Senator Chafin
VHCC students met with Senator Ben Chafin during a visit to Richmond that was organized by the Virginia Community College System to familiarize students with the legislative process and give lawmakers an opportunity to meet their community college constituents.

Four VHCC students traveled to Richmond in February to meet state lawmakers and explain how the College is helping them to achieve their educational goals.

The student group included two Patrick Henry High School and two Holston High School graduates who were chosen to participate in the annual VCCS initiative entitled Every Day is Community College Day. The goal of that program is to ensure community college students are in Richmond each day the Legislature is in session.  In addition to visiting legislators, students had the opportunity to learn about the legislative process and meet VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois


Carlie McCready : An affection for young children led Carlie McCready to pursue a career as a kindergarten teacher. So, after graduating from Patrick Henry High School in 2013, she enrolled in the Teacher Preparation program at VHCC. Because Carlie’s father is a tobacco farmer, she received a Virginia Tobacco Scholarship.  When she graduates with an associate’s degree in the spring, she plans to transfer to King University. Carlie said VHCC is the perfect learning environment for her because small class sizes have allowed her to excel academically.

025Frankie Coleman: A 2013 graduate of Patrick Henry High School, Frankie Coleman received a Virginia Tobacco Scholarship to attend VHCC because of her father’s past farming experience. She’s hard at work now on general education courses, but hopes to be accepted into the nursing program next year. Frankie said VHCC was a good choice for her because of the great reputation of the nursing program and the close proximity to home. She also likes the small class sizes and the opportunity to continue the next phase of her education with friends from high school.”My mother and aunt are both nurses, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.

002Conrad Thacker: While enrolled at Holston High School, Conrad Thacker did a host of volunteer projects to earn a Washington County Community Scholarship. When he graduated in 2014, he decided to use that scholarship and his love of math to study engineering at VHCC. But it wasn’t just the promise of free tuition that brought him to VHCC, Conrad said, explaining that he was also intrigued by the small class sizes that have allowed him to develop personal relationships with his teachers. That one-on-one attention has allowed him to excel academically, he said, and is preparing him for the next step of his education. “My sister is in the engineering program at Virginia Tech now, and I’m planning to transfer there to finish my four-year degree,” he said. “It’s hard to pass up the chance to get two years of college at no cost, so this was a good place for me to start.”

004Devin Keith: While a student at Holston High School, Devin Keith spent a lot of afternoons helping elementary school teachers with classroom tasks and picking up trash around his high school. All that volunteer service earned him a Washington County Community Scholarship, which covers all of his tuition at VHCC for two years. Devin has always enjoyed helping people, so he enrolled in the VHCC nursing program. He is currently working on the prerequisites needed, then plans to earn an associate’s degree. After graduation, he’ll be eligible to take the test needed to come licensed as a registered nurse. “I’ve heard great things about the nursing program here, so I thought this would be a good place to get my RN degree,” he said. “After I work for a few years, I’d like to continue at King University and become a nurse anesthetist.”