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BRCC receives Gerald L. Baliles Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative Award

Blue Ridge Community CollegeBlue Ridge Community College has received the Gerald L. Baliles Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative Award.

The award, from the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, aids efforts to help close the educational attainment gap between the Rural Horseshoe region and the state at large.

Named for the 65th governor of Virginia, the award honors Baliles’ legacy of promoting educational accessibility. The primary goals of the RVHI program are to reduce the number of rural residents without a high school diploma and to increase the number of rural residents with an associate’s degree, diploma, or certificate.

“Rural Virginia needs a targeted investment to take care of its next generation so the entire Commonwealth can prosper,” said Stewart Roberson, VFCCE’s board chair.

Each of the 11 colleges that received this funding proposed unique strategies that align with the goals of the RVHI. RVHI programs will serve a diverse range of high school students and adults from underserved and underrepresented populations.

“This award will support the College’s efforts to guide the next generation of employees for the rural Shenandoah Valley. So many of our students pursue transfer program opportunities or career-oriented programs that lead directly to high pay employment opportunities as they seek bachelor’s degrees. Through the expertise of our career coach professionals, the RVHI program will help students understand better the connection between their educational choices and their career opportunities,” explained BRCC President, Dr. John Downey.

“I am grateful to the generous donors who fund the Gerald L. Baliles Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative Award for the manner in which they partner with our own BRCC Educational Foundation to provide access to a wider range of educational options for our students,” Dorsey said.

By investing in rural education, the VFCCE is working with Virginia’s Community Colleges to promote opportunities to pursue higher education and a more equitable Commonwealth.

The BRCC Educational Foundation is a proud partner in the RVHI grant.  BRCC’s approved grant request was in the amount of $100,000.  Of that, $50,000 is coming from the VFCCE and the other $50,000 is being provided by the BRCC Educational Foundation.


Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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