Skip navigation

“It’s easy to think it’s too late and you’ve missed your opportunity. But it’s never too late.” – Angi Wood, TCC student

Angela “Angi” Wood says the most important thing she’s learned at TCC is how to be a compassionate nurse.

She credits her nursing skills instructor, Catina Davis, with inspiring her to be an excellent nurse, while also teaching her the nursing process and critical thinking on the job.

Angi is an adult learner who returned to TCC to earn her nursing degree, after spending more than a decade as a stay-at-home mom with her daughter, Adelaide, who is now her biggest cheerleader.

“I hear my daughter telling her friends that I’m in nursing school and she’s really proud,” Angi said. “It’s easy to think it’s too late and you’ve missed the opportunity. But it’s never too late.”

Angi, 41, selected TCC’s nursing program because of its strong reputation in the community and the resources available for students.

“I like the challenge and rigor of the program,” she said. “And TCC has the equipment and simulators to help you gain the skills needed to be a great nurse,” she added.

Angi says that at one point the pressure of adding school to her already busy life was really challenging. “I was dealing with family demands, the pandemic, along with school and work. When I heard about the mental health counseling offered at TCC, I jumped at the opportunity.”

She signed up through TimelyCare, a service provided through Virginia’s Community Colleges. “I worked with my counselor on interventions for stress management and coping skills. At first, we met weekly and now we talk every other week. It’s made a big difference,” she said.

TCC’s nursing program includes clinical rotations in area hospitals, and that’s where Angi found her fit in the Intensive Care Unit. She hopes to land a full-time position after graduation and when she becomes a registered nurse. “It takes a lot of skill to care for critical care patients, and TCC’s program has prepared me well for the task ahead,” she said.

Angi is on track to earn her Associate of Science in Nursing in December 2022. She is earning her bachelor’s in nursing from Old Dominion University concurrently.

Angi’s family, including her husband Randall, and their daughter Adelaide, will be there to cheer her on when she graduates from TCC.

“I got a great education at TCC that’s going to translate into a rewarding career,” Angi said. “I’m ready for the work and looking forward to serving my community.”

For more information on TimelyCare and the other student support services available through the Student Resource and Empowerment Center, visit here.

Alumna’s agency providing needed mental health care during COVID-19 crisis

Alumna Glenda Benion is gearing up to provide even more help to those with mental health needs in Hampton Roads.

“The current COVID-19 crisis is certainly going to have an impact on the mental health of many in our community, and we are preparing for an uptick in service needs once the Commonwealth reopens,” she said.

Benion graduated from Tidewater Community College with a Human Services associate degree in 2015. Today she co-owns and manages TALK Family of Virginia, an agency providing mental health services for children, teens and adults in Hampton Roads.

“A lot of people are not going to come out of this on the good side as they are going through a job loss and weeks of lost income. Many are unsure of the future and in pretty dire straits.  All of this can impact mental health a great deal,” she said.

Opened for a decade, the family-run business employs 23 counselors who help with mental health skill-building, medication management, financial planning and personal hygiene support.

All appointments are virtual right now.

Benion said much of the work these days is helping clients with basic needs by referring them to other agencies in the region.

“It’s been tough not being able to be one-on-one with our clients providing the usual services that sometimes include intensive in-home care,” she said. “I continue to be grateful to our staff that gives so much of themselves to help others.”

Benion came to TCC for the Human Services program, which is designed to provide the education necessary for career advancement in human and social services. Students are trained in observation, intake and interviewing, implementing treatment plans, problem-solving, crisis intervention, case management and referral procedures. Internships are among the requirements. Ivory Warren is program head.

“I want to give a shout-out to Ivory Warren,” Benion said. “She was the best professor and certainly prepared me well for the work I’m doing.

 “The more I work with people, the more I see that mental illnesses are real and can be very challenging for families.”

Benion works with her husband, Ronald, a silent partner in the TALK Family venture, and Kevin Walton, her son-in-law, who serves as executive director. Her daughter, Andrea Walton,  is the program coordinator.