Student, BirminghamAngelica


“I was laid off from my job back in 2014. I was just tired of working for corporate America. Giving someone all that you have just to be told, ‘Hey, we no longer need you.’ It really deflated me. Everything I had. It just took all the wind out of me.

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I am a mother of three, I have two boys and a girl. I am engaged to be married. It was really about the time, being able to be a full-time mom and being able to fit school into my schedule. It’s a balancing act. Sometimes when the kids are doing their homework, I do mine. While they’re eating, I eat. If I have a little free time, then that’s our free time.

One day I kept seeing the commercial, and I remember I had talked to Brooke (an admissions representative) earlier that year. A starting class was coming up, and I said I’d be there. And that time came and it passed and I saw the commercial again and thought, ‘Hmm, I think they’re talking to me.’ So after blowing off Admissions a few more times, I finally came in.

Every step of the way, someone held my hand. There was never any confusion. It’s comforting to still be able to see Brooke walk around the hallways and say, ‘Hey, how are you?’

I was always doing family and friends’ hair. Once my mom let me get into her hair. She let me style it and put curls in it. Once she started wearing it to work, I knew I wanted to focus on it. It was just the right fit from the very beginning. My younger brothers really pushed me, too. They were in high school and were actually brave enough to wear my haircuts.

“Telling yourself not to quit is so important.”

Staying committed is a really big thing. Keeping yourself grounded and telling yourself not to quit is so important.

You have to remove limits. I am no longer scared to just go up and talk to a stranger. Because you meet people here every day, it’s no longer like meeting a stranger. I can just walk up to people now and say, ‘Hey, I like your highlights!’

We had a wig application class and we learned how to make wigs. A few classmates and I were sitting out here, and Brittany was telling us how her mother went through cancer and how she has lost some of her hair. She had always wanted to make wigs and donate them. I was like, ‘We can do that!’ Right then the campus president walks by and I told him I had an idea.

I asked, ‘Can we make wigs and donate them?’ He said, ‘If you’re serious, get it together, and I’ll support you 100 percent.’

“I knew that this was where I was meant to be, to change lives of other people and make other people feel beautiful.”

So, I go to the program director and she tells me that I need a business proposal. I’ve never done a business proposal before. I create the business proposal and from there we started, VC Wigs of Love. We made nine wigs our first time and one of our instructors put us in contact with a foundation that actually donates the wigs.

We had a pinning ceremony come up, and we found out that one of our instructors was actually a survivor of cancer and another one of our instructors had actually just started chemo and had cut off all of her hair. We decided that we would make a wig strictly for her and she would be our first recipient of a wig from VC Wigs of Love.

We constructed all of the wigs on the salon floor. During the pinning ceremony, Ms. Bennett, who is a cancer survivor, gave some encouraging words, and I was actually able to present the wig to the instructor, Ms. Manning. There wasn’t a dry eye, it was the most awesome thing ever. I knew that this was where I was meant to be, to change lives of other people and make other people feel beautiful, in spite of their circumstances, in spite of what life may have thrown at them. They can still be glorious.”

We’re in this togetherRead More of Our Stories

Chris, Birmingham“Being a single dad and working and going to school — it’s a lot of sleepless nights, but I make it work.”

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Sharon, Chattanooga“I was in a movie with Jamie Foxx. It came up just by accident. I played a chef.”

Read Her Story

Keiontae, Macon“When they succeed, I feel like I succeed.”

Read Her Story

Are you a Virginia College student, graduate or staff member?We’d love to hear your story!

“My son is what motivates me to do my best every day. He is the reason I push myself to finish school and be successful. ”

Ashley, Greenville Student

“When I was a little girl I knew that cosmetology was my passion. I would always style my hair before bed, or in the mornings before I went to school.”

Tonya, Birmingham Graduate

“I gave up partying late at night to study late at night. And all the hard work paid off.”

Yesica, ChattanoogaGraduate

“I am a cancer survivor. I never thought with my illness that I would be able to continue my education, but the great instructors made the impossible possible!”

Tammie, Macon Student

“The proudest moment in my life is that after I had my son, I returned to finish my schooling.”

Ryan, Charleston Student

“It’s never too late to go back and finish your degree!”

Almarina, Shreveport Graduate

“I’m a 37-year-old proud mother of three children and three stepchildren, a full-time student with a 4.0 GPA, and working full-time.”

Virginia, Lubbock Student

“It was a hard decision to come back to school because I felt like I would not be able to make it through because I really don't like school. There have been some struggles, but with the help of my family and instructors I made it through. I will be starting my externship next term!”

Lakeisha, Greenville Student

“I kept telling myself I was going to do this but never did it. Last year, I put my foot down and told myself that I am going to finish school.”

Kerpernia, Mobile Student

“There was a time in my life when I was sickly. One day, my husband took me to get a makeover. The transformation was phenomenal. I want to make people feel the way I felt that day.”

Sable, Columbus Graduate

“I am a mother of four that wanted more in life than working in at a dead-end job not being able to take care of my family. I graduated in March 2016 and got offered a job with UNC Healthcare in April 2016.”

Tanishia, Greensboro Graduate

“My grandmother was and will always be my biggest inspiration in the kitchen. She used to put all her heart into making us the best tortitas with coffee and a big smile. It is not what you have on hand, it's about what you make with what you have.”

Margarita, Richmond Student

“I’m not a person that gives up easily on myself or others.”

Christine, Savannah Student

“I wanted to do something with my life that would make both my children and my mother proud.”

Jasmine, Spartanburg Student

“I knew that working in fast food places for the rest of my life was not going to cut it. I wanted a career. I always loved to learn about health and the human body.”

Latonia, Florence Student

“I wanted better for my children and to show them there’s always something to learn.”

Laura, Jacksonville Student

“I worked as a hairstylist for over 30 years and a licensed cosmetology instructor for 23 years. I know that hard work pays off in the long run.”

Meshandra, Macon Instructor

“One of my greatest dreams has been to make a difference in people's lives and to work with computers. I am currently working with computers in the best job I've had since entering the workforce 30 years ago.”

Gene, Biloxi Graduate

“Being in the military and seeing a lot of people sick, it gave me the motivation to do something challenging and be better.”

Jamar, Savannah Graduate

“I am a divorced mom with a special needs son who is now 21 years old. Just me and my son, we struggled to make it. It seems that all my life people were telling me no, you can't do that. At 52, I decided that I needed something to help our lives get better.”

Mary, Savannah Graduate

“My proudest moment was when I first started and I made the Dean's List. I was thrilled because I have never been on any list!”

Alicia, Greenville Student

“I have completed eight years with two deployments in service to my country.”

Eric, Jackson Student

“I chose the medical field because I love to learn new things. I also love helping people and doing everything I can to help their health or make them smile.”

Alisa, Fort Pierce Graduate

“As a mom of five, I didn't think going back to school was possible. I was working two and three jobs just to hold our family together. I decided in 2015 to enroll at Virginia College. Upon graduation, I was offered a full-time job by my externship site.”

Cynthia, Augusta Graduate/Instructor

“I am the oldest of five kids. At a young age my mother got sick, and I had to step up to the plate.”

Lauren, Austin Student

“I went to a lot of different schools and none of them were the right fit for me. My advice is if you are tired of being a number, and really want to be treated like a person, VC is the school for you.”

Carolyn, Florence Graduate

“I was a truck driver for 18 years and due to medical issues I had to give it up. I'm not ready to give up working so I decided to pursue another career.”

Diana, Shreveport Student

“I chose my area of study because my brother has PTSD, TBI, and anxiety. He was in the military and went overseas five times. His medical condition made me really want to help and work with other veterans like him.”

Abbe, Greenville Student

“I chose Business Administration because I wanted to fully understand owning and operating a business. I am very independent and very curious.”

Cronyn, Charleston Student

“Being a chef is a dream of mine. I don’t want to think about what could have been. I had to take the chance.”

Fred, Richmond Student

“Never let anyone stop you from becoming a greater person in life. No matter what, keep going!”

Allison, Columbus Student

“As a single mother, I wanted to show my son it wasn’t too late to get my degree! I finished knowing I could start a career and provide for him and give him the life I never had.”

Chelsea, Birmingham Graduate

“I am 53 and decided to start over in my career.”

Tammy, Augusta Student

“Over the years I went to two different schools, and as I was there I knew they weren't for me. I walked into Virginia College and the first impression I got was, 'Wow, I finally found my school.'”

Elizabeth, Chattanooga Student

“My motivation is my six-year-old daughter. To know that this little person is depending on me for everything makes me want to work that much harder and strive that much more for success.”

Lakesha, Savannah Student

“I am motivated by the students. I am constantly reminded that everyone is reaching for something.”

Kelly, Pensacola Instructor

“Despite any obstacles I face, if I truly want something I'm going to work my way there. I believe hard work pays off. I will achieve what I choose to accomplish in my life. I refuse to give up!”

Stephanie, Lubbock Student

“I get motivation from my two-year-old grandson that I am raising alone. Every time I look at him, I know that he deserves the best life. I want him to have the best. I want him to be able to say he is proud of me.”

Felisha, Florence Graduate

“Was my journey easy? No. It took a lot of prayer and hard work, working two jobs and attending school full-time. I didn't have a car so public transportation was how I got to school each and every day. It took dedication and never giving up even when I wanted to.”

Dianna, Columbia Graduate

“My husband passed away in February 2017. I chose the medical assistant field because of taking care of him and my elderly parents.”

Janet, Knoxville Student

“I chose the field I am in because I have always wanted to help people who are sick feel better.”

Kennesha, Huntsville Graduate

“I love everything about cosmetology — hair, makeup, nails, everything!”

Camell, Columbia Student

“I was 34, a single mother of three. I worked full-time and was a full-time student. My life was nonstop for two years. As time went on it became a lot easier and a lot more fun.”

LaTasha, Augusta Graduate

“I have been a chef for almost 30 years. Seeing the satisfaction on the faces of the students motivates me. Knowing that they have shared their passion for food and have made people's days a little brighter through their talents in the kitchen makes me happy.”

Mark, Greenville Program Director

“I want my son to know that you are never too old to accomplish any of your dreams and you can do anything you set your mind to.”

Jessica, Knoxville Student

“I have been told by some family members that I do not have what it takes to become a nurse; they have motivated me to prove them wrong.”

Caitlin, Montgomery Student

“I thought it was so hard getting into school but Virginia College made it so easy for me. It made me feel empowered being back in school. ”

Amber, Online Student

“I have worked in the fitness industry for over 15 years and owned a fitness business for eight years. But the older I got, I knew I would have to let it go. I was 42 years old and thought it was too late to go back to school and probably impossible with two teenage boys.”

Heather, Greenville Graduate

“I am scared to death to leave my classmates and teachers when I graduate because I love them and have become attached.”

Kelsey, Baton Rouge Student

“I didn't choose cosmetology, it chose me!”

Kumesia, Jacksonville Graduate

“My family motivates me, especially my 15-year-old son. I try to set a good example for him!”

Christy, Richmond Student

“Before enrolling in school, I never really felt like I was doing what I should be doing.”

Bonnie, Florence Student