For Adrienne, Virginia College's people made the difference

Jun 6, 2012

(L to R) Adrienne Gray, Academic Dean Richard Schnorbus, Librarian Johnnie Bolton, and Manager for Campus Online Coordinator Meschelle Johnson.

To pending Virginia College graduate Adrienne Gray, "Success starts when you never give up and you have people around you who care enough to never give up on you."

After moving to Biloxi and enrolling in Virginia College, she found herself and three daughters with no friends and no place to live. Leaving Biloxi temporarily was the only answer, but the Online Liaison at the time, Alana Crear-Dease (now Program Director for Cosmetology), encouraged Adrienne to maintain an active status in online classes and was available to help her in various ways.

Upon returning to Biloxi, Adrienne was assured by Virginia College Student Services Associate Kissy Maurice-Miller that everything would be alright. She assisted Adrienne in applying for housing and provided contacts for assistance with utility deposits. She also referred her to local agencies for help with food and furniture.

"During this very difficult time in my life, Ms. Maurice-Miller was my friend and genuinely cared about me and my children, said Adrienne. " I just survived the spring 2010 term but made the Dean's List for the summer 2010 term and have been on either the President's List or Dean's List for all but one term since."

Campus President Edna Higgins was also instrumental in Adrienne's "comeback" by clearing the way for her to become eligible for a Work Study position with Johnnie Bolton, the campus librarian.

"Ms. Bolton has been a constant source of encouragement, strength, and wisdom for me and my family. We work closely with military students who are sent over by recruiters to improve their ASVAB (the exam to qualify for military entry or advancement) score and I enjoy working with fellow students and helping them when they need me in the library," Adrienne said.

Adrienne also serves as the President of the Student Ambassador Program, an elite group of students whose purpose is to serve as positive role models to both current and potential students.

"I know there are people here expecting me to accomplish great things in life beyond Virginia College. It's easier not to give up when there are so many people who believe in you and expect so much more of you than you expect of yourself."

(Our thanks to Meschelle Johnson, Virginia College Manager for Campus Online Coordinator, for sending Adrienne's story.)