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“Now that I’ve been at TCC for two semesters, I can say it was the best decision ever.” — Rachel Dunn, TCC student

Rachel Dunn outside on the Portsmouth Campus.

Rachel Dunn is proud to be a Tidewater Community College Student Ambassador and Outstanding High School Graduate Scholar.

“I never really considered community college until my godmother encouraged me to apply,” Rachel said. “Now that I’ve been at TCC for two semesters, I can say it was the best decision ever.”

As an Outstanding High School Graduate Scholar, Rachel is earning her associate degree in two years and paying zero for tuition and fees.

“I started at the community college understanding that it would be a slower pace and I could gather myself and get ready for my four-year school,” she said.

Rachel Dunn at the Portsmouth Campus Student Center.

This scholarship includes required volunteer hours on campus, but Rachel sees this as another benefit. She engages prospective and current students during campus events and also works in the Portsmouth Campus Students Center.

“In the time I’ve known Rachel, I’ve seen how well she manages multiple responsibilities from maintaining a high GPA, to serving as a student ambassador, to caring for younger siblings and working a part-time job,” said Charlene Taylor, Student Center staff member. “I’ve never seen her shy away from a task and she is always willing to serve.”

The student ambassador program also includes leadership training, mentoring and public speaking. All of these opportunities add to the learning curve, especially the soft skills necessary for many careers.

Rachel got her start at the college while she was still in high school. She took dual enrollment classes as a senior at Churchland High. “I was nervous about college, but all that changed after my first class,” she said. “My professor was supportive and encouraging. It helped with my confidence and was just what I needed.”

Rachel is enthusiastic about animals and hopes to one day be a veterinarian. Her work at TCC gave her the courage to begin shadowing a travelling veterinarian in the area.

“I tell everyone no matter how uncomfortable you may be, get out there and give TCC a try,” Rachel said. “The people will be kind to you and the school is like a family. You can’t go wrong coming here.”

In her free time, Rachel spends time with her dog, Cody. She also enjoys hanging out with friends, bowling and helping the Churchland High softball team with their training. Rachel is a former player and was captain of the team during her senior year.

The deadline to apply for the Outstanding High School Graduate Scholarship is April 8, 2022. For more information, contact TCC’s Virtual Student Support Team at 757-822-1111. To learn more about TCC’s dual enrollment program, visit here.