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High school grad jump-starts college career at RCC

RCC Student S. Rest

RCC Student S. Rest

Many ambitious high school students earn simultaneous high school and college credits through dual enrollment classes at Rappahannock Community College. Stacie Rest of Northumberland High School (NHS) seized this opportunity—a decision that has gained her enough transferable college credit to let her hope for sophomore status by the Spring 2012 semester at James Madison University, which she will enter this fall.

An outstanding student, an athlete, and a good citizen, Rest was vice president of the Beta Club (an honor society that is committed to recognizing and promoting high academic achievement, rewarding and nurturing worthy character, fostering leadership skills and encouraging service to others) and a member of the NHS Student Council Association at her June 2011 graduation. Also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, she played volleyball and softball on the NHS teams, both of which made the state quarter-finals her senior year. She worked as a volunteer with a Northumberland Schools program which is designed to assist special-needs or at-risk students with the vocational skills necessary to enter the working world; she also volunteered with “Relay for Life” through the Beta Club, and with “Reading Partners” and local summer reading programs. Additionally, in community involvement, she has helped out with various memorial golf and fishing tournaments that have been organized to raise money for people in need.

Rest has been a member of the workforce since she was 11 years old, and is now employed at a Callao restaurant, “Luna.” “The restaurant business is in my blood,” she says, mentioning that her father managed restaurants and nightclubs at one time, as well as training bartenders; her older sister too “always worked in restaurants as we were growing up.” At RCC, she holds down a job as a “student ambassador,” greeting guests at the Warsaw Campus, giving tours, and answering questions from prospective students and their parents. She defines her work ethic in these terms: “I’m very oriented toward doing things right. I never do anything halfway.”

“My RCC classes were very helpful,” says Rest. As well as offering a favorable student-to-teacher ratio, “they were much more challenging than typical high school classes, with much more expected of the student,” which has given her a preview of the academic standards she will have to maintain at JMU. They also showed her the advantages of online classes, and introduced her to “Blackboard,” a widely used software program that allows college instructors to make course materials available online, and includes interactive features such as discussion boards and virtual chat rooms. So far Rest has completed RCC’s College Composition I and II, plus classes in mathematics, statistics, keyboarding, and emergency medical services, and is currently taking a summer class in geology.

“Online classes are a lot of work,” Rest says, “and definitely more difficult than a traditional classroom setting. But they allowed me to get ahead, and they’re very convenient.” They will also, she says, “reduce some of the pressure of going to college.” The fact that she has already completed a number of required courses will make it possible for her to schedule a lighter-than-average class load for her first year at JMU, giving her the chance to adjust to college life at her own pace; she hopes to have time there to continue playing volleyball and softball at the club level.

Rest plans to take more online classes from RCC during her summer breaks in order to gain the course credits she will need to earn her bachelor’s degree in the shortest possible time. She will major in business at JMU, though she is not sure at present what specific discipline she will pursue. “I hope eventually to have my own business,” she says, “or to pursue a career in banking or accounting.”

3 Responses to “High school grad jump-starts college career at RCC”

  1. Nancy says:

    A wonderfully inspiring story! Congratulations!

  2. Jasmine Crockett says:

    Stacy! im so proud of you! Stay on the path you”re on adn you WILL make it very very far:) Congratulations on your success!!

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