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Legislative Days give Virginia Beach students a look inside the General Assembly

Nearly 50 students from Tidewater Community College’s Virginia Beach Campus traveled to Richmond for a closer look at government in action.

The Jan. 30 trip began with a briefing with Glenn Dubois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System.

“I would not be where I am today without the community college, which launched me into an incredible career,” said Dubois, who first earned an associate degree before moving on to further studies.

Provost Mike Summers divided students into groups for a walk to the General Assembly, and they spent the morning meeting with Del. Sal Iaquinto (R-Virginia Beach), Del. Bob Purkey (R-Virginia Beach), Del. Barry Knight (R-Chesapeake/Virginia Beach), Sen. Jeff McWaters (R-Virginia Beach), Del. Chris Stolle (R-Norfolk/Virginia Beach), Del. Bob Tata (R-Virginia Beach), Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) and Del. Ron Villanueva (R-Chesapeake/Virginia Beach).

“I feel like a kid in a candy store,” said student Shana Austin, who is studying to be a paralegal. “I’m excited about being here and connecting with delegates and senators, and learning about our history.”

Student Richard Kozlowski, who plans to attend law school after TCC, was amazed at the perseverance of the delegate his group met with. “Delegate Purkey told us about the time he was hit by a Mack truck, and how he overcame many obstacles to return to service.”

Students also got a mini history lesson, touring the Capitol grounds with TCC’s Jim Hines, who regaled each group with trivia about monuments, Capitol artifacts and even a fence post.

Christy Banks, studying computer programming at TCC, enjoyed the entire experience, noting, “We were welcomed into the process and invited to share our stories. It was so great to see the rich history of Virginia and get a closer look at the Capitol.”