Thursday, January 31, 2013

Great Expectations Students Attend Inauguration Festivities

Three JSRCC students in the college’s Great Expectations program were among a group of 30 students and coaches who attended President Barack Obama’s Inauguration on Monday, January 21st.  The tickets were given to the Virginia Community College System who in turn shared them with students in the Great Expectations program from around the state.  Dedra E. Hampton, Great Expectations Coordinator/Coach for JSRCC, selected the three JSR students based on their academic achievement. 

The Great Expectations program helps young adults who are or were recently affiliated with the Virginia Foster Care System transition to college.  The program helps Virginia’s foster youth gain access to a community college education and transition successfully from the foster care system to living independently. There are currently 62 students at J. Sarge enrolled in the Great Expectations program, the largest Great Expectations program in the state.  Since 2008 when the program was created at JSR, more than 400 students have participated in the program at the College. 

The students were responsible for their own transportation to Washington, and the group assembled to watch the Inauguration which started at 11:30 a.m. 
“This was a great opportunity for our students to be so close to the President, Vice President, Senators and other dignitaries and to witness the swearing in of our first African American President on Dr. King’s Birthday,” Dedra Hampton noted. “The students were really impressed that the President held the same bibles used by Abraham Lincoln and Dr. King for his swearing in.”
In addition to attending the inauguration, the group attended an Open House hosted by the Casey Family Programs, an organization whose mission is working to ensure that every child has a safe, nurturing, and permanent family.  At the Open House the group met other foster care youth and alumni representing four different states, and they had a chance to network with representatives of The Rising Tides, an organization that provides numerous financial benefits to foster youth, and The Foster Club of America. 
For more information on the Great Expectations program please visit or contact Dedra Hampton at