RICHMOND – Silvia Garcia Murcia says she remembers not sleeping a wink the night before meeting John Tyler Community College (JTCC) Vice President Dr. L. Ray Drinkwater. She didn’t know what the meeting would be about but a friend told her it had to be good thing.
When she finally met with Drinkwater the next day, he asked if she would like to represent JTCC on the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia’s (SCHEV) student advisory committee. Garcia Murcia paused and then paused some more.
“I couldn’t say anything because I was in shock. “ She said. “I thought why me?” Drinkwater told her he had heard great things about her.
In addition to being a 4.0 student, Garcia Murcia, who emigrated from Guatemala four years ago, is actively involved in a variety of clubs and organizations at JTCC. That’s why she decided to accept. “It’s an honor for me to do it.”
Being appointed to the student advisory committee is no small matter. Only four students from Virginia’s 23 Community Colleges are selected each year to advise the council on systemwide issues of concern to Virginia’s college students.
“We are so proud of Silvia and are thrilled that she will be helping to represent the students of the VCCS,” said JTCC President Dr. Edward “Ted” Raspiller. ”Silvia’s energy and enthusiasm, her desire to help others pursue their educations, her belief in community colleges, and her dedication to her goal of becoming a nurse make her a strong voice for SCHEV’s Student Advisory Committee. We couldn’t have better representation.”
Garcia Murcia, who turned 21 in June, says living in the Richmond area has been a great and exciting experience for her. One of the first people she met was her Great Expectations coach Vicky Muenstermann who hired a tutor to help her read and speak English. Garcia Murcia admits the first semester was kind of tough.
“I was scared to say something because I thought people might laugh at me,” she said.
But Garcia Murcia has acclimated well to college life and takes her academics very seriously. “I’m taking four classes this semester, including anatomy, “she observed. “I need a lot of time for my classes. I want to get A’s in my classes. I am a 4.0 student and I want to keep it that way.”
Great Expectations Director Anne Holton says she’s grown quite fond of Garcia Murcia. “Silvia is a remarkable young lady who I know will represent our community colleges and Great Expectations well on SCHEV’S student advisory committee. I’m delighted that she’ll have this leadership opportunity.”
Garcia Murcia will be featured in a TV commercial promoting JTCC that’s scheduled to be broadcast in the Richmond-area market beginning November 11th.
About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 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 405,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.
About Great Expectations: This innovative, nationally recognized program helps Virginia’s foster youth earn the postsecondary credentials they need to achieve an independent and successful life. Great Expectations is offered at 17 of Virginia’s Community Colleges. For more information, please visit greatexpectations.vccs.edu.
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