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Breakfast with Legislators

Wed Nov 28, 2018 at 03:19 PM

BRCC students at breakfast with local legislators

At a breakfast with local legislators, BRCC students Lydia Poland, Rachel Harrop, Stuart Scott, and Ryan Sensabaugh shared their stories, giving personal perspectives on the life of community college students in the Valley.

Senator Mark Obenshain acknowledged, “Students are the best advocates for the programs and what the College is doing.” In particular, this group of students represented: parents, farmers, spouses, retirees, children, nurses, vet techs, transfer students, and truck drivers.

Here’s what they had to say:

Lydia: 2nd Year Veterinary Technology student; wants to go into emergency vet clinic care

“I moved here from Rocky Mount for the vet tech program. The faculty are very supportive and the program has a high pass rate on national boards. My BRCC experience shaped where I want to go with my future.”

Rachel: 2nd Year Nursing student; mother to three, with a husband in the Army; hopes to work in the ER

“Blue Ridge was close to home and the nursing program has a good reputation. There’s a lot more interaction with faculty here.”

Ryan: Transfer program student; Riverheads graduate; farmer; wants to transfer to Virginia Tech

“I chose BRCC to save money. I help on our family farm and also wanted to be local.”

Stuart: CDL student; retired from working in the golfing industry; wanted a career that would help others

“The CDL program at Blue Ridge was the most highly recommended program in the state. Throw in the economic benefit of cost, and it’s a no-brainer. Every person I’ve been in contact here has been very professional. The FastForward grant (for reduced tuition) made it possible.”

The students were thanked for sharing their experiences and perspectives.

Delegate Steve Landes replied, “We want the opportunities here for you all, for jobs here not only now, but looking forward. Hopefully you’ll find employment here.”

“Blue Ridge tailors itself to provide opportunities for a meaningful education for you all, that then will help fill the needs in our community,” commented Delegate Tony Wilt.

BRCC President Dr. John Downey thanked the legislators for their continued support of the community college system, and BRCC in particular. He then shared some updates on programming and facilities.

“BRCC is always out in front,” said Delegate Dickie Bell in response to discussion about the College’s newest facility, the BioSciences building to be open in fall of 2019.

*Senator Emmett Hanger’s Legislative Assistant, Holly Herman was in attendance as well.