• 45°

PDCCC joins effort to foster youth

WENDY HARRISON

SUFFOLK

Paul D. Camp Community College is participating in a statewide initiative that assists foster youth with achieving educational and career success. The Great Expectations program, a partnership with Virginia’s Community Colleges and the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, is available at nearly all of community colleges in the system.

The Great Expectations program assists youth with the transition from foster care to independence and higher education. Foster youth are paired with an adult coach, and they work together to assess skills and interest, discuss the future, and develop a plan for enrolling in college. The program helps them finish high school, continue their education through community college, and successfully transition to living independently.

“This program will provide invaluable support to our area foster youth,” said Tara Atkins-Brady, vice president of Academic and Student Development. “We want to see foster youth make a smooth transition from high school to higher education and help set them up for academic success.

“Great Expectations assists students with academic and career planning, applying for financial aid and scholarships, and connecting with academic and personal support, such as tutoring community resources,” said Atkins-Brady.

In its commitment to implement the program, Paul D. Camp recently hired a Great Expectations program coach, Karen Owens, who will also serve as a college success coach.

“In addition to serving PDCCC students, Karen will work with foster youth in our service region to inspire their passion for higher education,” said Dean of Student Services Trina Jones. “Karen is experienced in working with a diverse population and is eager to assist in the process of better human development of our targeted population.”

Owens earned a master’s degree in student services from Liberty University. She also attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services with a minor in Management from Old Dominion University.

For more information, contact Owens at kowens@pdc.edu.

WENDY HARRISON is the public relations specialist for Paul D. Camp Community College. She can be reached at wharrison@pdc.edu.