Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Workforce WednesdayDavid Mata of Glade Spring Virginia appreciates second chances, especially when it comes to the importance of his education. Hoping to earn an associate degree this spring at Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC), Mata plans to enter the police academy or find employment in the security industry.

“I initially started off in college right after high school and didn’t have a good beginning. I didn’t take classes or Great Expectations seriously. This year, I took more and more interest in Great Expectations and finally devoted all of my time to classes and the program,” Mata said.

Great Expectations (GE) is a nationally recognized program that helps Virginia’s foster youth earn the postsecondary credentials they need to achieve an independent and successful life. The GE program is currently available at 18 of Virginia’s Community Colleges, including VHCC.

Mata was pleasantly surprised when he was recently asked to join the GE leadership program. He asked why he was considered for the program and was told that his efforts in helping support other classmates had not gone unnoticed. Mata looks forward to mentoring other GE students and helping them understand all the program has to offer.

“Great Expectations is a great program and I encourage everyone who can to join. Don’t take it for granted. The program helped me out a lot, including financial aid. They even helped resituate me in a class I am taking for the third time. Great Expectations just offers so much and always inform me of any special events and workshops,” Mata noted.

In addition to focusing on completing his classes, Mata is putting his leadership qualities to work in encouraging his sister to enroll at VHCC.

“Virginia Highlands Community College is a community that makes you feel at home. The people and the staff are so well-trained and help out as much as they can, even after you graduate.”'

Amanda Christopher

Amanda Christopher is a graduate of Hollins University and Virginia Commonwealth University. A native of the DC metro area, Amanda worked in public relations for the American Red Cross before joining the Virginia Community College System as the Workforce Communications Coordinator.

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