Before officially graduating from high school, Jordyn Rollins-Williams had earned an Associate degree and STEM at Work Career Studies Certificate through Rappahannock Community College (RCC). As a student in the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School, Rollins-Williams’ was taking classes and earning college credits so she decided to take a few extra classes to complete an Associate degree.
It wasn’t always easy, however, and she admits having some trouble balancing her time. “Between my high school classes, work, extracurricular activities, and the extra classes I was taking at RCC, my schedule was full,” says Rollins-Williams. “It was easier once I got a little bit more organized and used to the schedule.”
“Hutt Williams, [RCC’s Coordinator of Dual Enrollment], was always there when I needed help with classes or even when I just needed to think out loud about my next steps,” Rollins-Williams says. “He gave great advice and helped me realize that what I wanted to achieve was possible, but I didn’t have to do it all at one time, and I certainly was not alone.”
Dr. Gena McKinley, English faculty, taught Rollins-Williams’ last class. “I hit a rough patch during her class, and she was gracious, understanding, and very kind as we handled the situation. She worked with me. Everyone was always so helpful and cheering me on.”
She says that transferring her RCC credits was simple and straightforward. “With a couple of clicks and a phone call, William and Mary had my transcript and my credits were posted. I got a lot of my prerequisites out of the way and will be two years ahead of other members of my class!”
This summer Rollins-Williams interned for the Town of Colonial Beach’s Town Manager. She says her responsibilities were similar to an administrative assistant position but she also did some content creation. “The public works intern and I were tasked with creating a presentation on rain gardens. We are both science majors and we had to present it in front of the Town Council and residents.” She also is interested in photography and design and created Facebook posts for the police department.
At the end of the internship, “I was able to go out with a research team from Old Dominion University (ODU) that was collecting depth data on the beach. That was really fun! The internship overall has given me lots of opportunities to explore new things, but also do things that I enjoy and am passionate about.” Rollins-Williams plans to study environmental science and policy while at William and Mary and is thinking about double majoring in biology or looking further into pre-law for a career in environmental law.
“There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by going to RCC. There are so many classes to choose from for you to explore your interests and earn credits at the same time. If you want to go to a 4-year college or university after, RCC gives you a great foundation to build off of,” she says. “RCC gives community members the opportunity to grow academically at an affordable price. It also puts more college graduates into the workforce which can be useful in the local community.”