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TCC student awarded top state scholarship

Damien Algernon, a Tidewater Community College student, is this year’s New Century Transfer Pathways Scholarship awardee for the state of Virginia.

Selected out of two hundred applicants, Algernon will receive a $2,250 scholarship.

Algernon was recognized on April 3 at the American Association of Community Colleges conference, held in Denver, Colo., during the President’s Breakfast event.

“We are proud of Damien for this tremendous accomplishment and grateful to be part of his academic journey,” said TCC President Marcia Conston. “Damien’s work ethic and perseverance will certainly take him far in his career and life.”

The New Century Pathway Scholarship program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa.

Algernon, 18, started at TCC while a sophomore at Salem High School in Virginia Beach. As a dual enrollment student, he got a head start on college, earning his associate degree one year after his high school diploma.

“When the pandemic hit, I had a lot of free time and nowhere to go,” Algernon said. “I decided to take some college courses and found it easy to engage and throw myself into my studies.”

Algernon said that he discovered his life’s passion while at TCC, after taking his first astronomy class. “I always enjoyed chemistry but found a passion for the stars and sky while at TCC.”

Algernon is earning an Associate of Science in Science this May. He plans to continue at a university to study Astro chemistry. He plans to work his way toward a Ph.D. and one day be a researcher and university professor.

While at TCC, Algernon was an intern at NASA, a place where he hopes to work again one day.

TCC Dean of Student Life Emily Hartman with Algernon.

“TCC is a place of opportunities,” Algernon added. “My time at the college helped me discover a career path I’m excited about. But more importantly, it was a place to grow and find out who I am.”