Laurel Ridge Launches Veterans Mentor Program: As principal step in the Virginia Veterans Service Demonstration Project

For Immediate Release:
March 5, 2016

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134


Laurel Ridge Community College is one of five community colleges in the state to receive $200,000 for an initiative titled, “Virginia Veterans Service Demonstration Project.” The money received was originally part of a United States Department of Labor grant with the purpose of improving the delivery of workforce and employment services for veterans. 

This initiative provides veterans with college credit for the college-level learning acquired through past military service and training, coursework to obtain additional skills and credentials, and mentors to help navigate these individuals while in college. 

Andrea Lo, Veterans Specialist at Laurel Ridge, said, “We seek to provide our veteran students with the skills, knowledge, resources, and personal connections they need to achieve their academic goals, and the new Veterans Mentor Program is a good example of this.”


The Veteran Mentor Program matches one student with one veteran mentor in the community.  Both meet once a week, over a cup of coffee, meal, or event.  The college will also host trainings and social events on campus for mentors and their students.  Some of these may include:


  • Interactive Job Workshop 
  • Family Potluck Dinner
  • College Skills/Study Skills Workshop
  • Sporting Events
  • Family Movie Night


“A mentor is someone who can be a coach, comrade, and friend to the student.  There is a wonderful intrinsic reward playing a role in someone else’s success, ” explained Lo.  


Virginia’s veteran population is growing.  According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the commonwealth will be home to nearly 850,000 veterans by the year 2017, ranking it 5th in the nation in terms of veteran population.  “At any given time, Laurel Ridge averages about 120 veteran students,” said Lo.  


For more information regarding the Veterans Mentor Program or any of our veteran services, contact Sharon Painter at 540-868-9753 or email [email protected].


Laurel Ridge is celebrating its 7th year with the designation as a Military Friendly® School. The Military Friendly® School designation is awarded to the top colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation.


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — 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 is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected]173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.

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.