Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014

Nelly_Perez-Velazco4On April 16, Rappahannock Community College student Yanelys “Nelly” Perez-Velazco of Richmond County received a medallion and certificate recognizing her as one of the outstanding community college students who have been nominated to the 2014 All-Virginia Academic Team of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society (the official honor society for two-year colleges worldwide).

“I feel humbled and very grateful,” she says.

Coming to the United States from Cuba with a ninth-grade education, Perez-Velazco entered RCC’s Adult Education Program in October 2011 and passed the GED exam the following February. She found the Adult Education instructors and tutors so “encouraging and engaging” that she was able to overcome doubts of her ability to handle more advanced work, and enrolled in college classes in May 2012.

Perez-Velazco’s immediate goal is to earn an associate degree in nursing, because “I love working with people and I truly enjoy helping others.” She has completed the prerequisite classes for this program, and will begin taking nursing classes in Fall 2014—a prospect that she calls “super exciting and overwhelming beyond words.” Concurrently, she will take courses that are needed for a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Old Dominion University. After earning her ADN and passing the state licensure exam for registered nursing, she plans to get a nursing job while continuing to work part time on her bachelor’s degree, perhaps specializing in labor and delivery.

“Hard work, perseverance, and determination pay off in the end,” Perez-Velazco advises prospective students. “It is never too late to start on the course to success.”

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Virginia's Community Colleges

Created more than 50 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 270,000 students a year in credit and workforce courses.

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