Criminal Justice, ColumbusErica


“I want to work in the criminal justice field because I had a lot of trouble when I was young and want to help the kids like at the youth home where I’m working nights. People are always amazed at how good I am with the children. It feels good to know that they look forward to me coming in. When I get there, my co-workers are relieved. They always tell me to never take a day off again, so that feels good.

#WeAreVC
“Seeing myself in a cap and gown is the main goal and nothing will get in my way!”

I understand these kids that are struggling. I know where they’re coming from. One day I hope to open up my own youth home but I know it’s not possible without an education. I’m in my third semester of a two-year degree, and I know there’s no going back now. I am fully invested in walking across that stage. Seeing myself in a cap and gown is the main goal and nothing will get in my way!

What would I tell new students who are wondering how to juggle everything, like family and work and children? I would just say, ‘Don’t give up.’”

We’re in this togetherRead More of Our Stories

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

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Karri, Columbus“My number one priority was to be a mom, so I got out of the military.”

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

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

“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 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 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 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 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 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

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

Bonnie, Florence 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

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

Kumesia, Jacksonville Graduate

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

Christine, Savannah 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

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

Kelly, Pensacola Instructor

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

Almarina, Shreveport Graduate

“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 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

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

Eric, Jackson Student

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

Tammy, Augusta Student

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

Yesica, ChattanoogaGraduate

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

Jasmine, Spartanburg Student

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

Ryan, Charleston 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 love everything about cosmetology — hair, makeup, nails, everything!”

Camell, Columbia Student

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

Laura, Jacksonville Student