A yearly donation of $1000 from Omega Protein has funded scholarships for a number of Rappahannock Community College students. This year’s recipient is Kirsten Self, a 2013 graduate of Rappahannock High School in Warsaw.
Self has been a full-time RCC student since Fall 2013, but before graduating from high school the previous May, she took several college courses as part of her school’s dual enrollment agreement with RCC. With these, in addition to last year’s credits, she needs only four more courses to qualify for her goal, the Associate of Arts and Sciences transfer degree with specialization in business administration.
She plans then to use one of RCC’s Guaranteed Admission Agreements to enroll at a four-year school where she can complete a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting. Though she has not yet decided where she will go, she is leaning toward a university from which one of her family members graduated. Her long-term goal, Self declares, is to find an accounting job with the federal government, perhaps in the role of an investigative auditor.
Self decided to attend RCC rather than going straight to a four-year school because, as she says, “it’s closer to home … and it seemed financially wiser.” She and several classmates who have come up through the grades together are very concerned about college costs. “We want to avoid student loans if we can. We’ve heard horror stories” about college graduates starting their careers deep in debt.
In addition to holding down a full-time babysitting job for a family with six children, Self does many hours of volunteer work at her church, and acts as a team captain and planning committee member for the Westmoreland County Relay for Life. This daylong event, she says, is a wonderful way to connect with cancer survivors and hear their stories, and to remember those that have not survived. It also gives her an excellent opportunity to gain business and community experience.