This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Rappahannock Community College. RCC graduates form the backbone of our local economy—our healthcare providers, bankers, lawyers, small business owners and trades-people. It’s hard to go through your day without being served by an RCC alum in some way. RCC’s Faces of 50 spotlights alum, like Gloria Holmes.
Holmes spent 34 years working in the kitchen at Mizpah Health Care Center (now Dockside Health & Rehab Center). Looking for a way to advance her career and become food service manager, she realized she needed to take classes to become certified.
While working two shifts and raising a family, Holmes enrolled in one of RCC’s Career Studies Certificate programs. “It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” said Holmes. “RCC [Glenns campus] was close to home and the class schedule helped me work around my family and job.”
Holmes took a computer class and says she learned more about computers than she imagined—from who created the first computer and how they are made to using computers for her job. She also learned valuable kitchen management and cooking skills that she applied in Mizpah’s kitchen. The dietary needs and restrictions in a nursing home facility are much different than cooking in a restaurant. Holmes earned a Career Studies Certificate in Food Service Management. Today it is a Certificate in Culinary Arts.
Age is No Barrier
“I encourage people to try RCC. It’s centrally located and can help you at any age,” remarked Holmes. “Young people aren’t always ready for the large college. They need to start somewhere, just get started, and RCC is a wonderful place to do that.” Holmes also noted that you can take classes on your own timeline whether a full schedule or part time. You just need to start.
Although she is retired, Gloria is still helping people through her volunteer work with her church’s food ministry, the food pantry at the Cryer Center, and the Rescue Squad Thrift Shop.