Central High grad realizes Laurel Ridge is the best option for him

John French

What may have seemed like a setback for 2019 Central High School graduate John French has instead become a blessing in disguise.

French, who was raised in Woodstock, was planning to attend Virginia Tech this fall, but a housing shortage at the Blacksburg institution led to his deferring his enrollment for a year.

Knowing that Laurel Ridge was in his backyard, French decided to enroll there instead, taking general education courses. Initially, he planned to be at Lord Fairfax for just a year. Now that he’s got a semester under his belt, he has decided to do two years at Laurel Ridge before transferring to a four-year university.

“I think if I would’ve gone to Virginia Tech right out of high school, I probably would’ve been kind of lost about my future career, but Lord Fairfax helped me figure all that out,” French says. “I just needed time, and Laurel Ridge was kind of the backbone. I had time to think about what I want to do.

“Coming to Laurel Ridge is kind of like the best of both worlds.”

While originally considering a future in environmental research, now he is leaning towards economics. French hasn’t yet decided where he’ll transfer, but is considering James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Roanoke College. He says he’ll be able to take his Laurel Ridge credits with him.

“I’m really enjoying all my classes,” French says. “My English class is the one I’ve grown the most in. It was with Professor Paul Weaver. It wasn’t the class I had the best grade in, but it was the class I felt I learned the most. It especially improved my writing.”

He also was impressed with a history class he took with Professor Stephen DiNello.

“His class was really interesting, too,” French says.

One of four children, French says that even though he was always aware of Laurel Ridge, it was never really his ambition to go there. He felt he had to “go away to college.”

But, he’s glad he didn’t listen to what he says was popular opinion.

“I’m saving a lot of money,” French says. “I’m getting good grades. And, I’m kind of finding myself.”

Now his younger brother, Michael, is planning to come to Laurel Ridge in 2020.

“Some of his buddies are going to come, too,” French says. “Laurel Ridge is becoming a popular option among a lot of people. I just feel like the financial benefits are really, really helpful.

“I’ve told a lot of people about Lord Fairfax. I definitely recommend it now.”

Enroll now for spring classes at laurelridge.edu/spring.