Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2015

Great Expectations Student Leaders pose with their certificates accompanied by Virginia’s Adoption Champion, Deb Johnston, keynote speaker Dr. Terry Morris of NASA, and Virginia’s Secretary of Education, the Honorable Anne Holton.



Thursday, May 21 was a day of celebration when Virginia’s Community Colleges graduated its 2015 Great Expectations students – a program that helps foster youth with education and careers.

The many accomplishments among the outstanding graduates this year include:

  • 5 bachelor’s degrees
  • 15 transfers to a four year college
  • 30 associate degrees
  • 16 Career Readiness Certificates
  • 26 workforce certifications
  • 2 GED diplomas
  • 6 military recruits

The Great Expectations graduation celebration was held at the School of Education at The College of William & Mary. Over 200 people were in attendance for the festivities, including over 100 former foster youth and 50 graduates. 

The keynote speaker was Dr. Terry Morris of NASA Langley Research Center. Dr. Morris is an electrical and systems engineer as well as a national speaker supporting philanthropy, community service and child advocacy in multiple countries. He is quite literally a rocket scientist.

Great Expectations is a program in 18 community colleges across the state of Virginia, dedicated to helping Virginia’s foster youth complete high school, gain access to a community college education and transition successfully from the foster care system to living independently.

Great Expectations students shared the following thoughts on the program-

 “Because of Great Expectations, I am no longer struggling.  I will continue in my education further than I thought I could.  I am truly grateful.” – Kajurora Edmonds

 “I was pregnant and homeless and my Great Expectations coach helped me find a home, and complete my education.  It has motivated me and assisted me, and changed my life tremendously.” – Devitta Jones

“My coach acts like a mother or sister, they treat us like family.” – lonzo Mayfield

Check out the recent article highlighting the Great Expectations program- Former foster children pursuing higher education support system.

Support the Great Expectations Program today. 


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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