Posted on Monday, January 19, 2015


Ruxandra Zait

“Every Day is Community College Day” is in full-swing at the General Assembly. Students from the nearly two dozen community colleges scattered around Virginia descend on the state capital two and sometimes three days a week to get acquainted with the legislative process and share their personal experiences with lawmakers who represent their colleges’ voting districts.

Last Thursday, about three dozen students from Reynolds, Eastern Shore and Mountain Empire Community Colleges made the journey to Richmond.

One of those students – Ruxandra Zait (sounds like “Zyte”) – has traveled farther than most.

Zait says she could barely speak English when she first arrived in the U.S. after leaving her home country of Romania in 2012. 

“The professors at Reynolds were very understanding. I had many resources that helped me improve and enhance my English skills. There might be some mistakes when I’m nervous. But I try to get myself into it so I don’t make as many mistakes as I used to.”

Zait, who’s now 23, already has an associate’s degree from Reynolds. But she wants more.

“I want to become a systems business analyst. I’d also like to continue my graduate studies and maybe a PhD program. Who knows?”

For Zait, Reynolds has become family. She was effusive in her praise of the college, saying the small class-sizes and the individual attention she’s received have been enormously beneficial.

That’s the same message she would deliver to Delegate Betsy Carr a short while later, with a little extra emphasis on why Virginia’s Community Colleges are important.

“They’re important because they’re the first step in our academic career. They help us to develop professionally and as leaders.”'

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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