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News Release

New Member Joins the John Tyler Community College Board

Primary Media Contact:
Holly Walker
Public Relations Manager

Secondary Media Contact:
Heather Busch
Creative Services Manager

Released on November 08, 2011

CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – John Tyler Community College welcomes Sophenia Pierce as the newest member to its College Board. She will represent Surry County on the Board. Pierce brings with her a strong background in youth services. “I began working with youth immediately after high school because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others,” says Pierce. “I wanted to give young people an opportunity to reach their goals and to understand their life’s purpose. During my life, I had an abundance of support from my family, church and school; however, I realized that all youth do not have the same protective factors necessary to help them to succeed and to avoid risky behaviors. I am committed to helping as many youth as possible to achieve greatness!” Pierce is tireless in that effort. She serves on the Hampton Road’s BEST (Building Exemplary Systems for Training youth workers) Coalition, is facilitator of the nationally recognized Advancing Youth Development program; is a member of the Crater Regional Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Council, the Surry County Community Policy and Management Team, the Crater Region’s Coalition Against Alcohol Nicotine and Drinking Underage Use (CAAN-DUU), the Surry County African American Heritage Society; and is Youth Minister/Director of Mt. Nebo Baptist Church in Surry.

Pierce says she looks forward to serving on the John Tyler Community College Board because she believes education is vital to today’s youth. “Having a quality education gives young people the extra confidence that they need to be successful in today’s society. John Tyler is one of our valued, local institutions that is offering young people a quality and affordable education which is preparing them for life,” she says. Pierce believes getting students ready for higher education is a team effort that requires guidance, mentorship, dissemination of information about available resources, and encouragement. “Preparing for college can start as early as in the elementary level,” she says. “Students need parents, schools, and the entire community to prepare them from cradle to college to career.”

Pierce, a Surry County High School graduate, holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in the administration of justice from Virginia State University and is currently working on a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration on non-profit management and leadership from Walden University.

John Tyler Community College is a two-year, public institution of higher education and is the fifth largest of the 23 community colleges in Virginia. With campuses in Chester and Midlothian and off-campus classrooms throughout the area, John Tyler offers quality and economical opportunities for students who want to earn a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year college or university, train for the workforce, or switch careers. The College, which served more than 14,522 students during the 2010-11 academic year, offers 17 associate degrees, eight certificates, and 36 career studies certificates. The institution also serves 15,000 non-credit students and more than 1,000 companies and government agencies annually through the Community College Workforce Alliance. The College also is committed to sustainability. In July 2010, it received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for its Midlothian Campus Science Building, becoming the first in the Virginia Community College System to receive such recognition. John Tyler Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager


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