Nursing Success Started at RCC

A Successful Nursing Career Started at RCC

Nursing Success Started at RCC

Hazel Perry

At an early age, Hazel Perry became a single mother to four children and had to rely on Social Services to keep her family together. With no resources or tools to make her life better, she decided to check out RCC but was afraid she wouldn’t meet its standards.

She was surprised to meet so many encouraging people at RCC. Counselors were available to help with academics and class scheduling but also assisted her with personal life struggles. “They gave of themselves unselfishly. I remember I was in a dance class and I didn’t have the money to purchase my uniform, but the professor gave me the money to get my uniform,” Hazel explains.

Encouraged to Succeed
RCC gave Hazel the jump start to further her education. She says she was eager to learn more and more. “I came along during the era of Dr. Dorothy Cook and Ms. Saunders. They encouraged me to hang in there,” says Hazel.

Hazel studied nursing at RCC and graduated from the Nurse’s Aide program in 1984. She continued her education at Lafayette School of Nursing and received her diploma as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She was employed in the mental health field for more than 25 years and is working part-time as a home-health nurse. “I love what I do,” remarks Hazel.

Hazel is from Mathews and resides in Newport News.

Richmond County's Jay Garner

RCC to Washington and Back Again

Richmond County's Jay Garner

Richmond County’s Jay Garner

Richmond county native, Jay Garner, credits RCC with helping him gain a broader view of life and preparing him for bigger experiences. So much bigger that when he transferred from RCC with an associate degree in general studies he went across the country to Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.

One lesson Jay remembers in particular. In Dr. Howe’s chemistry lab they heated cereal in a beaker over a flame, crushed it, and then dumped the crumbs onto a piece of paper. When a magnet was held underneath the paper, particles of iron in the cereal moved, proving to the students that there really was iron in their breakfast. “That blew my mind and opened my eyes,” Jay said.

Other classes at RCC that broadened Jay’s outlook on life and gave him the confidence to venture so far from the Northern Neck were Joe Swonk’s public speaking class and Patricia Nicholas’ sociology class. “RCC prepared me for a bigger experience and was a good transition from high school to college to independence,” adds Garner. “The classes were at the caliber of four-year universities and all but two transferred for me.” Judge Mike McKenney’s classes were instrumental in helping Jay choose Political Science as his major.

Coming Home
Jay says the climate in Bellingham was similar to Virginia’s and he felt at home there. However, he found himself talking about Virginia a lot and realized he had deep roots and ties to the Commonwealth. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Jay returned to the East Coast and spent time as an intern with the U.S. Senate in Washington, DC. He then went to work for the Virginia State Corporation Commission for more than 17 years. Jay is now the public relations manager for Northern Neck Electric Cooperative in Richmond County and enjoys giving back to the community.

Jay is a proud RCC alumni and wants everyone to know “RCC provides a world-class education affordably—right in our backyard!”

digital shipbuilding experience

Digital Shipbuilding Mobile Experience

Newport News Shipbuilding
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Come see how NNS as an industry leader is transforming digitally.
You will experience NNS’ latest tool for workforce training, collaboration, and external outreach. While inside you will experience:
The innovative use of technology that is increasing productivity and lowering cost.
The transformative use of cutting edge technology such as AR, Laser Scanning, and Mod Sim.
Tues., March 12 from 9am to 3pm
Glenns Campus Parking Lot
Open to All
Rev. Larry J. Arrington speaks about the life and impact of Mr. Eldridge Cook at RCC in February 2019.

Rev. Larry Arrington

Rev. Larry J. Arrington speaks about the life and impact of Mr. Eldridge Cook at RCC in February 2019.

Rev. Larry J. Arrington speaks about the life and impact of Mr. Eldridge Cook at RCC in February 2019.

“RCC will provide every foundational opportunity for your ultimate career journey,” says Reverend Larry Arrington, RCC alum (from the founding days of RCC!) and pastor of First Morning Star Baptist Church, in Bena, in the southern part of Gloucester County. After graduating from high school, he wanted to find a way to further his education so he enrolled at RCC.

Jerry Horner, physical education teacher; Dr. Dorothy Cooke, math instructor; and Frances Ashburn made positive impressions on him while a student at RCC, he remembers. Their commitment to education and helping students was instrumental in his success at RCC.

Rev. Arrington thought a lot about his future, especially during his post-workout jogs around the perimeter of the campus parking lot. During school, he was employed by Newport News Shipbuilding and upon completing his associate degree he received a promotion. However, he felt the calling to the ministry.

Reverend Arrington spoke on the life and impact of Mr. Eldridge Cook at Rappahannock Community College on February 6, 2019. He captivated the audience on-site at the Glenns campus and simulcasted at the Warsaw campus, with the incredible inspiration Mr. Cook was to the region in his business and his philanthropy.

It’s people like Rev. Arrington and Mr. Cook who inspire the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck to achieve more, as they have, and credit Rappahannock Community College with helping the region to get on the way.

“Thank you, thank you for this rural educational opportunity,” Arrington says of RCC.