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RCC helps homeschooler to dual graduation success

Ms. Abell

Ms. Abell

“I want to be the face of agriculture,” says Aldyn Abell, who has been accepted as an Agribusiness major at Virginia Tech for Fall 2012. Now 17 years old, Abell will complete a Rappahannock Community College associate degree in May, concurrently with her homeschool graduation. Her goal, after she earns her bachelor’s degree and possibly a master’s, is to land a job as a business representative for an agricultural business.

Both Abell and her two older sisters have combined homeschooling with college classes, courtesy of the dual-enrollment partnership between community colleges and area school boards. Abell has been taking RCC classes since what would have been her sophomore year of high school, mostly at the college’s off-campus site near her home in King George County. Although due to admission requirements she will be entering Virginia Tech with freshman status, she has already earned most of her core credits, and expects to receive her bachelor’s degree within two or three years. State livestock competitions have taken her to Virginia Tech two or three times a year since she joined the 4-H program at age eight, and it has been her ambition to enroll there from the start. “I’ve always loved Tech,” she says.

Living on what she calls a “semi-farm,” Abell has participated enthusiastically in 4-H at both local and state levels. She started by raising lambs (twice winning a grand championship among about 50 competitors at the Showman’s Sale in Frederickburg), and next English cocker spaniels; she currently holds down a part-time job as an assistant dog groomer. Within the last year she has begun working with cattle also. Her present project is preparing an Angus steer, born in June 2011, for a show this May. In addition, she has served as 4-H ambassador for her district—an assignment that includes mentoring, advocacy, and public relations duties—after which she ran successfully for the post of state secretary that she holds now. As a member of the Virginia 4-H Cabinet and Ambassador Team, she is one of the elite teen leaders who play major roles in planning and conducting the yearly Virginia State 4-H Congress, as well as bearing the responsibility of releasing information to the public to enhance its understanding of 4-H programs and activities.

Abell feels she is getting a genuine college experience at RCC’s Warsaw Campus, where she is taking one of her five classes. “I see more young people there. At the King George site, the students are mostly adults, so I’m always the youngest. I like attending classes with my favorite teachers rather than taking the classes online, and I like hanging out in the new student lounge.”

“I didn’t want to try dual enrollment at first,” Abell admits. “My mom [Terry Abell, who works as site assistant at RCC-King George] made me do it. It was a lot of hard work. But now I think, ‘Wow, I did that!’ It makes me feel accomplished.” With the skills she has learned in her RCC communications class—“I love public speaking,” she confides—plus her Virginia Tech education, it will be no surprise to see Abell’s face in the mass media soon as an ambassador of agriculture.

2 Responses to “RCC helps homeschooler to dual graduation success”

  1. Michael says:

    Great article Tom!

  2. taylor says:

    GO ALDYN!!!!!!!

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