When Perez-Velazco came to the United States from Cuba, she had only a ninth-grade education. In October 2011, she entered RCC’s Adult Education Program; just a few months later, in February 2012, she passed the GED exam. She found the Adult Education instructors and tutors so “encouraging and engaging” that she was able to overcome doubts of her ability to handle more advanced work, and enrolled in college classes in May 2012.
Perez-Velazco’s immediate goal is to earn an associate degree in nursing, because “I love working with people and I truly enjoy helping others.”
She has just completed the prerequisite classes for this program, and will begin taking nursing classes in Fall 2014 — a prospect that she calls “super exciting and overwhelming beyond words.” After graduating from RCC, she hopes to further her education in the specialties of labor and delivery, or some other nursing field. Her advice for prospective students is: “Hard work, perseverance, and determination pay off in the end. It is never too late to start on the course to success.”
Each two-year college in Virginia may nominate as many as two students per campus per year to the All-American Academic Team, from which the All-Virginia Team is derived. The All-Virginia Team’s function is to salute academic achievement, leadership, and service among Phi Theta Kappa members. Virginia is one of 47 states participating in the State Academic Teams project, which was introduced in 1994 as a means of recognizing and promoting excellence at two-year colleges.
These teams and their parent organization, the All-American Academic Team for Community, Technical, and Junior College Students, are part of an international program sponsored annually by Phi Theta Kappa, USA Today, and the American Association of Community Colleges.