For Immediate Release:
October 16, 2015
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
The Laurel Ridge Community College Educational Foundation has announced Caroline Hoxton of Winchester, VA, as the recipient of the 2015-2016 Ross Fellowship for Service and Scholarship. This is a prestigious student award that recognizes academic excellence, good character, and service to the community. The Ross Fellowship covers tuition and fees for the year, and provides a $1,000 stipend for textbooks and $750 for an approved technology purchase. Hoxton will also receive $1,000 upon completion of a yearlong community service learning project with the school nurse at Stonewall Elementary School. Hoxton will volunteer for 45 hours each semester.
Laurel Ridge Foundation board member Dennis Morris of Toms Brook served on the selection committee. “More than 40 students applied for this prestigious fellowship. I had the honor of interviewing the five finalists, and was very impressed by the caliber of Laurel Ridge students who applied. The future looks very bright.”
“My high school guidance counselor, Carmen Thompson, was instrumental in helping me apply for this fellowship,” said Hoxton, a 2015 graduate of Handley High School. She was a high school cheerleader, a member of the National Honor Society, and a Handley Scholar. She received her Certification as a Nursing Assistant in her senior year of high school and hopes to become a Nurse Practitioner in Pediatrics.
The Nurse Aide program at Handley was offered for the first time during the 2014-15 school year. It was created as part of the Valley Health Partnership whose membership includes Valley Health, Laurel Ridge, Shenandoah University, Our Health, United Way, and six public school divisions. The Partnership’s goal was to create multiple pathways for high school students to enter health service careers.
Brenda Byard, Laurel Ridge Dean of Business & Technology/Director of High School Outreach, hopes that Hoxton will continue her education in the healthcare pathway. “By obtaining her CNA in high school and doing well in science courses, Caroline would be able to receive extra points on the rubric used by the nursing faculty at Laurel Ridge in determining candidates for the Associate Degree in Nursing. We are proud of her accomplishments so far and she seems well on her journey to becoming a nurse which is a very high demand, highly skilled, and well paid profession.”
In 2013, the Laurel Ridge Foundation received a $1.4 million bequest from the estate of Charles Ross. Ross, of Front Royal, VA, was a WWII veteran and valued service to our country and community. He wanted the gift to be used for scholarships to help deserving students at Laurel Ridge who demonstrated strength in character and academic performance.
Hoxton maintained a high GPA throughout high school, excelled in extra curricular activities, but always found time to volunteer in the community. She assisted in blood drives and cooked meals with her father for the WATTS dinner for the homeless. She volunteered during the summers as an instructor for Little League Cheer Camp and chaperoned the Students with Special Needs Prom.
This semester Hoxton is taking Anatomy and Physiology, Sociology, Public Speaking and English in her quest to become a nursing student at Laurel Ridge. Every Thursday afternoon, she fulfills the service segment of the fellowship by assisting the school nurse at Stonewall Elementary School. “This fellowship has opened so many doors for me. I am able to fit something into my training that I really enjoy.”
The Ross Fellowship is a merit-based award, not a financial need-based award. The recipient must be enrolled at Laurel Ridge Community College as a full-time student (minimum of 12 credit hours each semester) for the Fall-Spring academic year. The recipient must also complete an approved service project. Hoxton is the second recipient of the Ross Fellowship at Laurel Ridge.
Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.