Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In 2012, Albemarle County Resident and Marine veteran Joyce Howard was a working mother with two children and a job that she planned to have until retirement. When her employer was forced to downsize due to lack of program funding, she unexpectedly found herself unemployed. The next few months brought a lot of uncertainty, but one thing Howard knew for sure: she was ready for a career change.

Howard had always felt that she was missing out by not having a college degree, so when she heard about the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, which helps unemployed veterans receive job training assistance at a community college, she jumped at the opportunity. Her first call was to PVCC.

Howard met with Jackie Fisher, PVCC’s veterans and military advisor, who provided assistance with applying to PVCC, choosing a program of study and applying for veterans educational benefits. She also attended one of PVCC’s special veterans information sessions for prospective students. There she discovered that she qualified for additional financial aid and learned about PVCC’s many support services and resources to help students succeed. Now, Howard is a full-time student, completing the general education classes required for application to PVCC’s radiography associate degree program. Her studies are often a family affair with her two children helping her to prepare for exams.

“I love being in school. It’s a tremendous opportunity. It really is a dream come true.”'

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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