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Dantzler, James join Educational Foundation Board

David Dantzler and Rick James have joined the Board of Directors of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation.

Dantzler is District Manager of Kroger Mid-Atlantic and a member of the Foundation’s Scholarship and Grants Committee. James is Executive Vice President of Adams Construction Company and a member Foundation’s CCAP2 Campaign Cabinet.

The volunteer Board of Directors guides the Educational Foundation’s mission of supporting student scholarships, faculty development and endowment initiatives at Virginia Western. Board members have been the driving force behind Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), a successful public-private partnership that provides up to three years of tuition to eligible students.

With CCAP, homeschool family finds easy transition to college

The Richards Family of Franklin County has sent three of their homeschooled children to Virginia Western, thanks to the Community College Access Program. From left, Hannah (’17), her father Allen, her mother Sonja, brother Lucas and sister Sarah (’19).

(Published in the Winter 2020 Edition of IMPACT magazine, a publication of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation.)

When Sonja Richards and her husband, Allen, first got married, they didn’t foresee having children. But they ended up having eight — three of whom are still going through college, and two who are fast approaching their senior years in high school.

“All we ever heard was, ‘How are you going to put them through college?’ ” Richards said. “My answer has always been, ‘God gave us the children and he’ll provide for them.’ “

That providence came in the form of Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP). The program covers up to three years of tuition, making college affordable for families whose income disqualifies them from federal student aid. Homeschooled students and those graduating from public or private high schools in Salem, Botetourt, Franklin, Craig or Roanoke counties are eligible for CCAP. High school seniors graduating from public schools in Roanoke can also apply. 

Richards said the program was first brought to her attention by Susan Layne, a career coach at Virginia Western who attends Richards’ church. She often sought out Layne’s advice, looking for the best way to pay for her children’s schooling.

“She just came up to me one day and said, ‘Did you hear CCAP has opened up to homeschoolers in Franklin County?’ And I said, ‘No,’ ” Richards said. “And she said, ‘Well, I figured you were the one who petitioned to get it opened.’ “

Layne introduced Richards to Carolyn Payne, Virginia Western’s CCAP & Scholarship Program Coordinator. Since then, Richards said Payne has been a godsend, cheerfully answering questions and helping the family in any way she can. With Payne’s help, Richards’ second oldest daughter, Hannah, became the first to benefit from CCAP, beginning in fall 2015. Hannah earned an associate degree in 2017 and transferred to Virginia Tech to study interior design. Another child, Sarah, also received her associate degree through the program in spring 2019. A third, Lucas, started at Virginia Western in fall 2019. 

Richards said the program has allowed her family to forego student loans, despite having several children who are simultaneously working toward collegiate degrees. 

“All of our children — and we as well — are still debt-free at this point,” Richards said. “They have no school loans and no car loans.”

In addition to making college affordable, Richards said that CCAP has also made it easier for her children to transition from a homeschool education to a four-year college experience. So far, all of her children have attended Virginia Western before later transferring to a four-year university, Richards said. The college’s proximity to the Richards’ home in Franklin County has allowed her family to maintain the social circles they’ve built through homeschooling and church. 

“Virginia Western has been the way to go for us,” Richards said. “They were still at home, still busy at our church. It just gave them a good start to college.”

Through CCAP, Richards has been able to guarantee her children a quality education while keeping her family close. 

“I pray CCAP will still be available for our last three, and that Carolyn Payne will stick around until they finish,” she said. 

Educational Foundation announces CCAP students for 2019-20

Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP) is making college possible this fall for 440 recent graduates of Roanoke Valley high schools.

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with Virginia Western Community College, raises support for CCAP through a public/private funding partnership. CCAP provides up to three years of tuition for high school graduates who meet program requirements, as funding allows. Since 2008, more than 2,800 Roanoke Valley students have participated in the program.

Parents and students interested in learning more CCAP are invited to attend any of the public information sessions planned through January 2020. The 2020 CCAP application period opened Oct. 1 and closes Feb. 1, 2020.

The following meetings will be held in Whitman Theatre on the campus of Virginia Western, 3095 Colonial Ave., in Roanoke. (For a map and parking information, see www.virginiawestern.edu/about)

  • Nov. 7, 2019:  6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Dec. 10, 2019: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Jan. 9, 2020:  6:30 to 8 p.m.

To stay up-to-date on CCAP news, see www.virginiawestern.edu/ccap. Sign up for important CCAP updates about application deadlines, financial aid workshops and more by texting “CCAP2020” to 31996. (Reply STOP to cancel, HELP for help; message and data rates apply.)

For more information about CCAP, see virginiawestern.edu/ccap or contact Carolyn Payne, CCAP Coordinator: (540) 857-7544 or cpayne@virginiawestern.edu.

CCAP recipients for 2019-20 are:

BOTETOURT COUNTY

1ST YEAR

Samantha Aldrich, Robert Beard, Emily Bruno, Caitlin Campbell, Brody Cook, Shane Edmonds, Craig Farmer, Krysten Fitzgerald, Cassie Frantz, Jonathan Girard, Coulter Hodges, Ashton Huddleston, Isaac Krepps, Jessica Lancenese, Aimee Lowe, Madison MacLean, Trinity Martin, Randall McGee, Zachary Noel, Kayla Overstreet, Erin Peery, Jessica Rocha, Ariana Rochay, Mason Spillman, Anne-Michael Westland, Hunter Williams, Daniel Williamson, Caroline Wilson and Christopher Worsley

2ND YEAR

Madison Bowen, Hannah Elias, Frederick Elliott, Eric Filer, Brady Firestone, Brycen Ford, Bryson Gray, Martha Guffey, Kyle Hayslett, Catelyn Hoyt, Rachel Kickuth, Aaron King, William McAllister, Daniel Peters, Riley Sartorius and Allison Smith

3rd YEAR

Kylie Angel, Blair Grim, David Kreyling, Austin Metz, Madison Poole, Erik Swortzel and Amanda Wright

CRAIG COUNTY

1ST YEAR

Ashlyn Bradley, Caleb Cook, Madison Hannah, Elizabeth Howard, Maggie Huffman, Taylor Huffman, Tyra Hutton, Sunny Mason, Sadie McAllister, Kaylee Pauley, Jake Robertson, Brandon Swingle, Laneley Taylor and Caleb Todd

2ND YEAR

Alison Maguire and Erin Maguire

3rd YEAR

Maddy Jones

FRANKLIN COUNTY

1ST YEAR

Marco Antonio Aguilar, Braden Ashby, Raleigh Beaman, William Boylan, Alyssa Brown, Brianna Brown, Emma Burrows, Samantha Chaudet, Justice Coleman, Hannah Collins, Matthew Conde, John Crandall, Emily Crowe, Rhianna Dudley, Alyvia Eaton, Abigail England, Jacob Flora, Noah Florio, Autum Foley, Easton Forbes, Elizabeth Foster, Cade Gallimore, Dakota Grant, Jakob Greenway, Kaleb Grindstaff, Selena Harden, Ashley Hartmann, Katelyn Herlehy, Taylor Hill, Katharine Hillard, Jade Hurd, Charleigh Martin, Morgan McGuire, Taylor McPherson, Valerie Meadows, Cheyenne Mullins, Breanna O’Neal, Logan Patsel, Kaylee Perdue, Lucas Richards, Andrew Robertson, Kaitlin Saunders, Nora Shanahan, Mackenzie Sisson, Dakota Smith, Hayley Smith, Alicia St Clair, John Turner, Daniel Tyree, Presley Washburn, Cheyene Williamson, Madison Wray and Evan Yerkey

2ND YEAR

Mackenzie Akers, Hannah Arrington, Gideon Bernard, Elizabeth Burrell, Renee Cundiff, Jordan Hall, Sydney Hamilton, Donovan Hartman, Brittani Hatch, Jesse Hodges, Daniel Hoffman, Peyton Ingram, Gabriel Johnson, Riley McCranie, Tyler Nelson, Rachel Power, Savanna Reed, Marimar Spangler, Ashley Stubbs and Emily Stubbs

3rd YEAR

Logan Akers, Keith Anderson, Grace Burrows, Joshua Cooper, Victoria Hillard, Reagan Hunley, Hannah Ingram, Terrell Preston, Anna Richardson, Paula Torres and Morgan Wood

ROANOKE CITY

1ST YEAR 

Keegan Abajace, Kendra Alexander, Evelin Argueta, Matthew Ball, Lea Barbour, Myah Brown, Jazayah Bruce, Anita Budathoki, Samantha Burkhart, Jeniya Calloway, Juliette CdeBaca, Nickolas Chu, Aubrey Craye, Alexander Crow, Robert DeMattia, Kevin Draper, Autumn Drummond, Stesony Elma, Niyogushima Estela, Mackenzie Gilliam, Damon Goetten, Nazier Graves, Julianne Henny, Legend Howard, Lucy Jacobs, Maaliya Jenkins, Gabrielle Jennings, Elizabeth Kasongo, Brianna Keeling, Brianna Kindzred, Emma Land, Eve LaPradd, Cameron Lawrence, Brianna LeFlore, Brenda Lopez, Kaitlyn Lumpkin, Jaime Mason, Joseph McKoy, Payton McMahon, Danielle Mickey, Elissa Miller, Morgan Montgomery, Pamela Ngoy, Elijah Noland, Caitlin Oakes, Mason Opperman, Mark Overstreet, Dorian Pryor, Kassandra Rodriguez, Zachary Sane, Steven Sawyer, Kira Shelor, Jacob Snellings, Skylor Stallworth, Jonathan Stanley, Tamiah Stewart, Izaak Sutherland, Farrin Swartz, Alysha Tolley, Charles Wilson, Kaylee Wilson and Melissa Zegben

2ND YEAR

Tyler Burns, Karen Castaneda, Lydia Christopher, Kayla Clark, Baylee Cooper, Maria Cortes, Rebecca Drumheller, Alissa Edwards, Jannet Hernandez Ortiz, William Hobbs, Madeline Jones, Kendall Land, Davis Lee, Evelyn Martinez, Farhiya Mberwa, Suzanne Moore, Keoshae Morris, Devin Overton, Carrie Pohlman, Yasmin Roiter, Sheridan Saunders, Somina Som, Elliot Woodrum and Virginia Yemey

3rd YEAR

Whitney Bills, Andrew Clark, Dayan Martinez Murillo, Derek McIntyre, Noah Melton, Marla Moock, Keira O’Neill and Colin Smith

ROANOKE COUNTY

1ST YEAR

Noah Alderman, Moises Alegre, Cayla Alexander, Makenzie Anders, Laurel Ayers, Jake Balsley, Kayla Bartholomew, Brooke Bess, Derek Bocock, Jasmine Bowman, Connor Brennan, Cassidy Caldwell, Jennifer Caudle, Jessica Caudle, Zachary Chittum, Mayali Clary, Jasmine Colburn, Madison Cole, Alexis Cook, Chandlor Desper, Kaylee Eldred, MacKenzie Eubank, Elizabeth Francis, Rane Garmon, Nathan Goerner, Christopher Hall, Caroline Harrington, Emma Hartless, Hunter Hartman, Quamyrha Hayden, Cameron Hicks, Ashlyn Hubble, Matthew Huber, Corey Hudson, Mallory Hughes, Mirza Jarcevic, Emmerson Jessee, Fayth Keatts, Laurel LaBrie, Brooke Lay, Adelia Mau, Brennon McBee, John McMahon, Kacie Moore, Caitlin Morris, Daniel Nary, Selena Nguyen, Lisette Nucamendi, Madison Osburn, Sierra Perdue, Dung Phu, Cameron Preast, Lauren Price, Brandon Pugh, Brianna Saunders, Hannah Schram, Brandi Shepherd, Cameron Shepherd, Noah Shipwash, Jackson Smith, Troy Smith, Tyler Smith, Olivia Sodre, Selma Sosic, Brandon Spradlin, Amanda Surface, Justin Talford, Daryl Thompson, Ivana Topalovic, Nhan Tran, Phan Truong, Rachel Warren, Annalise Wheeler, Lauren Wilson, Tait Wilson, Mitchell Winters, Madison Wright, Nathan Wright and Elexia Wynn

2ND YEAR

Alexander Altice, Joshua Argabright, Taylor Beck, Dane Blackwood, Tristan Brady, Joseph Bryant, Juanita Byrd, Madison Byrd, Justin Campbell, Saje Carter, Bailey Chapman, Brianna Christian, Michael Cone, Jasmine Crawford, Caitlyn Croft, Jonathan Dalton, Amberlee Davis, Rachel Davis, Jared Dennis, Jacob Ellis, Allison Faulkner, Hannah Gillispie, Justin Hampton, Madison Hanes, Silas Henderson, Amer Hodzic, Asia Holland, Ahna Huff, Eric Hughes, Hunter Jarrett, Corrie Johnson, Hunter Johnston, Alexander Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Lee, Kathleen Linsenman, Schuyler Lynch, Olivia McKinney, Carrington Morris, Julia Nelson, Ryan Novitsky, Johan Ramirez, Carla Risser, Jessie Roberts, Laurel Shelton, Chloe Simpson, Kelsey Sledd, Andrew Smith, Callie St.Clair, Bailey Waller-Smith, Nicholas Wilson and Kayleigh Wyatt

3rd YEAR

Tristan Anderson, Daniel Carroll, Hannah Childress, Nichole Dulaney, Dillon Frost, Katherine Le, Cara Martin and Michael Richardson

SALEM

1ST YEAR

Jacob Alley, Janiyah Bailey, Ethan Beutell, Suzanne Carter, James Davis, Joshua Duhon, Matthew Elmore, Taylor Elmore, Miranda Fiedler, Trevor Gallagher, Jack Gladden, Hailey Hadwin, William Harless, Makenzie Harlow, Matthew Hernandez, Gil Houston, Landon Hylton, Megan Kelliher, Haley Patterson, Conner Payne, Joci Payne, Kenna Payne, Danijel Pranjic, John Price, Nathan Richards, Indigo Ritter, Micheal Rock, Zada Seibert, Alexis Stover, Gabrielle Strickler, Daniel Sublett, Tamara Tabachka, Hannah Terry, Alexa Warme and Brianna Warme

2ND YEAR

Rachel Ahlers, Taylor Albanese, Harlee Allen, Lindsey Amiot, Kenneth Bagnasco, Sidney Booze, Elijah Ford, Jessica Graham, Thomas Helvey, Sade Holland, Connar Johnson, Claire Maxey, Joshua McClure, Jamie Parker, Jacob Stewart and Dylan Trail

3rd YEAR

Kelly Richards, Zachary Ward and Kayla Wright

Supporting CCAP’s Future:

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has embarked on a fundraising campaign to support the evolution of its transformative Community College Access Program.  Program enhancements include part-time eligibility, three years for completion, and the inclusion of the acquisition of industry-recognized certificates and credentials. 

 For more information about how you can join the localities, businesses, foundations, alumni, parents and friends that make college possible, contact Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director; (540) 857-6962 or amansfield@virginiawestern.edu.

Monthly CCAP info sessions begin Oct. 8

Parents and students interested in learning more about Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP) are invited to attend any of the public information sessions planned in October through January 2020. The 2020 CCAP application period opened Oct. 1 and closes Feb. 1, 2020.

Administrators from the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation and Office of Financial Aid will be on hand to answer questions about CCAP, which provides up to three years of tuition for Roanoke Valley high school graduates who meet program requirements.

The following meetings will be held in Whitman Theatre on the campus of Virginia Western, 3095 Colonial Ave., in Roanoke. (For a map and parking information, see virginiawestern.edu/about)

Oct. 8, 2019: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Nov. 7, 2019: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Dec. 10, 2019: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Jan. 9, 2020: 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The Virginia Western Educational Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with Virginia Western Community College, raises support for CCAP through a public/private funding partnership. Since 2008, more than 2,830 Roanoke Valley students have participated in the program.

For more information about CCAP, see virginiawestern.edu/ccap or contact Carolyn Payne, CCAP Coordinator: (540) 857-7544 or cpayne@virginiawestern.edu.

Supporting CCAP’s Future:
The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has embarked on a fundraising campaign to support the evolution of its transformative Community College Access Program. Program enhancements include part-time eligibility, three years for completion, and the inclusion of the acquisition of industry-recognized certificates and credentials.

For more information about how you can join the localities, businesses, foundations, alumni, parents and friends that make college possible, contact Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director; (540) 857-6962 or amansfield@virginiawestern.edu.

American Electric Power Foundation awards $100,000 grant to CCAP

The American Electric Power Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to support Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), a nationally recognized effort that provides up to three years of tuition to qualified Roanoke Valley high school graduates.

Brad N. Hall, vice president of external affairs for Appalachian Power, said “AEP and Appalachian Power have a long relationship with Virginia Western Community College and share its dedication to help build a workforce capable of developing and supporting the necessary elements for a climate of growth in the Roanoke region. This $100,000 gift from the AEP Foundation represents our commitment to Virginia Western and its vision for the people of the area through CCAP.”

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to support CCAP, scholarships and other College needs, is the recipient of the grant. The Educational Foundation aims to raise a total of $6.5 million by 2021 from public and private sources as part of its CCAP2 Campaign. The first campaign to launch CCAP surpassed its $5 million goal in 2015. Since its founding 2008, CCAP has provided tuition support to more than 2,500 students.

CCAP provides “last in” scholarship support, filling any tuition payment gaps after a qualified student has applied for federal or state financial aid. The program funding is based on a 50/50 match: A locality pledges a specific dollar amount for its high school graduates in a given year; the Educational Foundation then raises a matching amount from private businesses, foundations, community groups and individuals.

“Virginia Western and Appalachian Power have been a long-time partners in moving the region forward. Their leadership support for CCAP will support student success while eliminating crippling student debt. We are honored and proud to work with the AEP Foundation to make a difference in our communities,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western Community College.

“Through this gift from the AEP Foundation we are representing and honoring dozens of our own employees who are graduates of Virginia Western and have already proven to us the benefits of its educational opportunity here. We hope through this gift that we can help assure the on-going success of the Community College Access Program and its participants who will become leaders in the economic growth of this region,” said Larry Jackson, Appalachian Power external affairs director for Virginia.

With the American Electric Power Foundation grant, the Educational Foundation has raised $2,011,969 million of the $3.25 million in private support it is seeking during the CCAP2 campaign. It will continue its ongoing partnerships with Roanoke Valley localities to raise the public portion of $3.25 million over the next five years.

About the Community College Access Program

  • CCAP serves the entire Virginia Western Community College service region, including the counties of Botetourt, Craig, Franklin and Roanoke and the cities of Roanoke and Salem.
  • Participants are required to volunteer 4 hours of community-based service each semester. To date, they have given back 19,000 volunteer hours to area nonprofit organizations.
  • CCAP recently expanded to include tuition support for students seeking short-term, industry-recognized credentials in high-demand fields such as welding, mechatronics and pharmacy tech.
  • The average incoming grade point average of CCAP participants is 3.3. More than 78% enroll at Virginia Western with the intention of transferring to a four-year institution.
  • In 2014, CCAP was named a finalist in the Community College Futures Assembly’s Bellwether Awards, in recognition of its pioneering effort to strengthen the local workforce. The program has served a model for similar programs, including New River Community College and Dabney Lancaster College.

For more information about Virginia Western’s CCAP, contact Philanthropy Director Amanda Mansfield at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962. Go online to learn more about CCAP2 at virginiawestern.edu/makecollegepossible.

VWCC launches CCAP2 fundraising campaign with major gift

Drew Parker

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has launched its second fundraising campaign to benefit Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), a nationally recognized effort that provides up to three years of tuition to qualified Roanoke Valley high school graduates.

At an April 24 announcement, campaign co-chairman Neil Wilkin Jr. said the Educational Foundation aims to raise $6.5 million by 2021 to support CCAP. The first campaign to launch CCAP surpassed its $5 million goal in 2015 and greatly reduced or eliminated college debt for 2,200 students.

“CCAP is a transformative program that has been embraced by the entire Roanoke Valley,” Wilkin said. “We look forward to working with our public and private partners in building on the program’s powerful momentum.”

CCAP provides “last in” scholarship support, filling any tuition payment gaps after a qualified student has applied for federal or state financial aid. The program funding is based on a 50/50 match: A locality pledges a specific dollar amount for its high school graduates in a given year; the Educational Foundation then raises a matching amount from private businesses, foundations, community groups and individuals.

A leading private donor, Carter Machinery Inc., was honored at the April 24 event and given the College’s Community Impact Award for a $300,000 gift to support what’s officially called the “CCAP2 Campaign: Renew. Re-charge. Re-imagine.” Andrew J. Parker, CEO of Carter Machinery, and his wife, Kate, made the gift on behalf of the Salem-based company.

Carter Machinery is the authorized Caterpillar dealer serving Virginia and southern West Virginia with four divisions, including Earthmoving, Mining, Power Systems and Rental Services. Founded more than 60 years ago, Carter Machinery has grown from three stores into a network of 18 locations and 1,200 employees.

“Carter Machinery is dedicated to supporting the development of the next generation of leaders,” Andrew Parker said.  “We believe in the future of Virginia Western students and the Valley, and we invite others to join us in support of this transformational program as it enters its next phase of expansion.”

Virginia Western President Dr. Robert H. Sandel expressed his thanks to the Parkers and noted the annual Community Impact Award is one of the highest honors that the College can bestow. “This gift supports the College’s mission by enabling student learning and development in meaningful and extraordinary ways,” Sandel said. “Make no mistake, it will leave an indelible mark on the CCAP program and the future of our region.”

With the Carter Machinery gift, the Educational Foundation has raised $1.79 million of the $3.25 million  in private support it is seeking during the CCAP2 campaign. It will continue its ongoing partnerships with Roanoke Valley localities to raise the public portion of $3.25 million over the next five years.

About the Community College Access Program

  • Since its founding 2008, more than 2,200 students have participated in the program.
  • CCAP serves the entire Virginia Western Community College service region, including the counties of Botetourt, Craig, Franklin and Roanoke and the city of Roanoke and Salem.
  • Participants are required to volunteer 4 hours of community-based service each semester. To date, they have given back 14,000 volunteer hours to area nonprofit organizations.
  • CCAP recently expanded to include tuition support for students seeking short-term, industry-recognized credentials in high-demand fields such as welding, mechatronics and pharmacy tech.
  • The average incoming grade point average of CCAP participants is 3.3. More than 75% enroll at Virginia Western with the intention of transferring to a four-year institution.
  • In 2014, CCAP was named a finalist in the Community College Futures Assembly’s Bellwether Awards, in recognition of its pioneering effort to strengthen the local workforce. The program has served a model for similar programs, including New River Community College and Dabney Lancaster College.

For more information about Virginia Western’s CCAP, contact Donor Relations Coordinator Amanda Mansfield at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962. Go online to learn more about CCAP2 at virginiawestern.edu/makecollegepossible.

CCAP: Building tomorrow’s leaders

In Spring 2017, Cassidy Peters graduated from Virginia Western with an associate in science degree, Phi Theta Kappa honors and dreams of becoming a health care administrator in the mold of Lisa Cuddy on Fox TV’s “House, M.D.”

What brought you to Virginia Western?

I am a first-generation college student. I live in Ferrum, my family is not super-wealthy. I had no idea how to really do the college thing.

But a Virginia Western advisor approached me in high school and told me about CCAP, how I could go tuition-free if I met all of the requirements. A Franklin County High School teacher also told me about my options with the transfer program.

It seemed like an easy decision to me. I was good for two years and I had all the advising help I needed. To me, I knew this was the best option because — while I’ve never held $20,000 in my hands — I know I don’t want to pay it a year.

What would you have done without CCAP?

My first semester here was a little shaky. I don’t think high school students know how to study. It’s a difficult transition, to try to teach yourself a lot. If I’d gone to a four-year school, my GPA would not be as good as it is and I’d have student loans. And I think I wouldn’t have been as grown up – I really grew up here. I really know what I want now.

What are your plans after Virginia Western?

I am transferring to Jefferson College of Health Sciences to get a bachelor’s in health sciences and then hope to become a physician’s assistant. But my ultimate goal is to get a master’s in healthcare administration. I want to be Cuddy and help run a hospital. I very much crave leadership – a good leader can bring out the best in people.  And I like the idea of saving lives and making that as efficient as possible.

What role did the advisors at Virginia Western play in that decision?

It was my business advisor here who told me, “Hey, you can get your MBA but also have a strong health tie.’ I had no idea that even existed.

What I noticed is when you talk to advisors at four-year schools, the only thing they market to you is their school. Here, the difference is their goal is to get you to your end goal – not just to this school. You guys were looking more at the big picture instead of just selling me on the school.

How important is CCAP in Franklin County?

CCAP really does mean the difference between a kid having to take years off to earn money for school or not. It really is a door for a lot of kids. Because without it, they couldn’t afford it. Like me — I never had parents who went to college. They didn’t know how to take out a student loan or what a FAFSA was. I really had to figure it out by myself. I’m grateful I had two years here to grow up and figure that out myself.

What has CCAP meant to you?

Roy Dwyer is all about “paying it forward.” He is contributing to his great-niece’s college fund because his parents helped contribute to his two daughters’ college funds. He also donated to Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program immediately after his youngest daughter, Kaitlyn, graduated in May 2017. Because of her participation in CCAP, Kaitlyn was able to transfer to the University of Mary Washington in Fall 2017 with no college debt.

CCAP is “a great opportunity for parents,” Dwyer said. “You’re able to save money and also get your child a good education.”

Dwyer encourages other parents to not only contribute to CCAP but to explore if their employer offers a matching gifts program. Allstate, where Dwyer works as a claim representative in the Salem office, offers such a program. For every dollar he contributes to CCAP, Allstate matches it 100 percent.

“It’s so important that you can double your money – more people need to take advantage of this,” he said.

Dwyer said Virginia Western was the perfect bridge experience for his daughter, whom he describes as a homebody who wasn’t ready for a four-year school after graduating from Cave Spring High School. Kaitlyn flourished at Virginia Western, graduating summa cum laude and gaining new confidence in herself. The College “gave her a direction she didn’t know she was aware of,” he said. At Mary Washington, Kaitlyn hopes to further her literary interests by majoring in creative writing.

Dwyer said he was moved to donate to ensure that others can benefit from CCAP as his own family did. “Why not give back?” he said. “It’s especially important to give so that others can benefit, especially those who really need the help.”

YOU are helping #MakeCollegePossible

MaLora Bush.
Yadav Sapkota.
Cody Gump.
Alexie Jean-Jacques.

Recognize the names of these current or former Virginia Western students? Did you help them take a step further in overcoming life obstacles and achieving their academic goals?

Each of these students is deeply thankful for the support they received from the Virginia Western community. We helped them #MakeCollegePossible — which is the theme of the Educational Foundation’s new fundraising campaign to benefit the Community College Access Program (CCAP) and general scholarship needs.

Beginning Nov. 28, on #GivingTuesday, you’ll see video stories featuring MaLora, Yadav, Cody and Alexie popping up on the College’s Facebook page. You’ll hear them express — in their words — the significant impact that Virginia Western has made on their lives.

We hope you’ll share these videos and help the Educational Foundation spread the word about #MakeCollegePossible.

Not on Facebook? You can watch a 10-minute compilation of these stories here: http://virginiawestern.edu/makecollegepossible

We all know that this busy time of year it’s especially easy to lose sight of the community college’s mission. We hope these videos help recharge your focus, and affirm that Virginia Western is a big part of what makes the Roanoke Valley a beautiful community.

With sincere thanks,

The Educational Foundation staff (Amanda, Carole, Carolyn, Wanda and Jill)