Student, BirminghamCalvin

“I went to community college first. Then I left to join the Navy in 1981. I served 22 years in the Navy, and then I retired 13 years ago. I’ve had three jobs since I retired, and then I just resigned. I wanted to come and work for the church.


One day, I woke up and asked the Lord, ‘What should I do for the church?’ I rolled over and saw a business class on the laptop and then I received a phone call from a young lady from Virginia College who goes to our church, saying, ‘This would fit you for what you want to do for the church.’ I wanted to come here to better my education. To help out the church. To better myself and to help out the inner-city kids.

The military taught me how to keep focused. I was stationed out of Virginia and California and went to Desert Storm in ‘91. I had a lot of hats. It was easy coming into school. You just have to plan and have your priorities together.

I am currently in the Business Office Specialist program. I walk in February and I start my other program in January, the Business Administration Associate’s Degree Program.

“There is a bigger plan. I want to have a non-profit organization.”

I’m older, I’m 54 years of age. My niece and my brother are proud of me. They’re just overwhelmed with the way I decided to do this at my age and how I decided to come back. I also made the Dean’s List and, shocker, I am on my way to making the President’s List, too!

Being here has really showed me that, you know, I can overcome a lot of things. I’ve been out of high school for 36 years. So my old-self up here, I feel like a grandpa. They call me Mr. Dickey, ‘Yes, sir’, ‘No, sir’. This school has really opened up my eyes that I can do anything.

There is a bigger plan. I want to have a non-profit organization. A program that will help kids who may not go to college, but go to the military, with education. I also want to start an assisted living program for veterans.

The military, my granddaddy and my momma – they taught me not to give up. I want to finish what I started.”

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

“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

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

Almarina, Shreveport Graduate

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

Kumesia, Jacksonville Graduate

“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

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

Christine, Savannah Student

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

Bonnie, Florence Student

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

Tammy, Augusta 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 have completed eight years with two deployments in service to my country.”

Eric, Jackson Student

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

Jasmine, Spartanburg Student

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

Yesica, ChattanoogaGraduate

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

Allison, Columbus 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

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

Kennesha, Huntsville Graduate

“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’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

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

Camell, Columbia 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

“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 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

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

Kelly, Pensacola Instructor

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

Laura, Jacksonville Student

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

Ryan, Charleston 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 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

“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

“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