Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Reynolds’ Angela Graves Earns Prestigious Valley Proteins Fellowship

Reynolds Community College student Angela Graves has been selected as part of the sixth class of the Valley Proteins Fellows Program, administered by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education.

A resident of Highland Springs, Virginia, Graves was the 2015-2016 Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Chapter President and also ran for Phi Theta Kappa’s International Office of Vice President for Division I. Out of a record-breaking 50 International Officer Candidates, Graves finished 2nd in her category.  

During the 2015-2016 academic year, she also earned an Educational Book Scholarship and Commonwealth Grant and recently was awarded the Executive Women’s International/ASIST Scholarship. 

“I feel especially honored for being selected for the Valley Proteins Fellowship award because of its extreme competitiveness,” noted Graves who is currently serving as a Reynolds Student Ambassador. “I am very grateful to the Smith brothers, their Valley Protein Fellowship Program, EWI/ASIST, Reynolds and the VCCS.”

Out of the more than 400,000 people Virginia’s Community Colleges serve across the commonwealth, only nine were selected for the Valley Proteins Fellows Program. The approximate value of the scholarship, accompanied with professional development, travel, and cultural opportunities, is $10,000.

 The core mission of the Valley Proteins Fellows Program is to help promising, second-year students at Virginia’s Community Colleges pursue their academic goals and strengthen their leadership skills. In addition to receiving full tuition, book expenses and fees, the Fellows participate in a unique curriculum of intellectual and cultural activities. The Fellows also volunteer 80 hours of community service during the academic year to hone their leadership abilities and develop a strong foundation for future success. 

Graves is already a veteran volunteer in her community, working with the Richmond Folk Festival, Habitat for Humanity, BARK (Bandits for Rescued K9s), City of Richmond I AM TOURISM Ambassador, and at Dominion RiverRock. Her goal is to major in Information Technology with a focus in networking and cyber security as she continues on to her Bachelor’s degree after she graduates from Reynolds next May. 

The fellows program is made possible through the generous support of Valley Proteins, Inc. The Winchester-based company has been in the rendering business for more than 60 years and currently operates plants in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.  The management of Valley Proteins is committed to outstanding corporate citizenship, excellent customer service, technological innovation and support for the community college mission.  

“My brother and I are pleased to support the Valley Proteins Fellows program because it provides us with the opportunity to develop a more educated and competitive Virginia,” said Gerald F. Smith, Jr., president of Valley Proteins, Inc. 

“The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education is dedicated to expanding opportunities by leveraging partnerships,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “This program is a great example of the synergy that comes from joining together employers that are vested in the quality of tomorrow’s Virginia workforce and the community colleges that elevate it every day.”