Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2014

VCCS BlogBefore she became a student, Tiwana Simon was a sailor. She spent six years in the Navy circumnavigating the globe. With the exception of the Indian Ocean, she has traversed every sea and walked on just about every continent.

“My favorite places were Africa, São Tomé, and Japan – Japan because it was so peaceful. I went to Hiroshima – the site where the bombs were dropped – on a tour.”

Born in Georgetown, Guyana and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Simon is a second-year student at Reynolds. She says the college’s “Military Friendly” designation is especially appealing to her.

“As soon as I told everybody that I was a veteran, they knew where to point me and in what direction. They were very, very helpful because they know I’m an older student.”

Tiwana SimonWherever she goes, Simon can’t stop bragging about Reynolds’ Parham Road campus which she says reminds her of a four-year university.

“It’s larger, it’s not all in one building; I get to move around…I can hang out on the grass. There are so many clubs. I’m a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a student ambassador. Reynolds also employed me with work-study so I work in the Student Success Center which is very helpful.”

The biggest reason Simon is so smitten with Reynolds is cost-savings. Like so many other students, she’s on a budget and Reynolds delivers value in spades.

“I love Reynolds for the affordability because I get the same quality education that I’d get at a four-year university except cheaper. And I love Reynolds because I can get a career started here when I graduate.”

 Simon says she’ll always recommend Reynolds to any student, whether they’re a veteran or not, because of its affordability.

“I also noticed that a lot of the adjunct professors (here) also teach at four-year universities so you’re getting the same education but more one-on-one time with smaller classrooms.”

 Simon plans to transfer to ODU later this year and eventually earn her bachelor’s. After that, she’s looking forward to serving her country again – this time, as a teacher.'

Craig Butterworth

A native of Richmond, Craig Butterworth is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications professional. He has worked as a spokesperson, staff writer and editor for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout the Richmond area.

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