Shortly before graduating with her associate degree in liberal arts last month, Isabel Reinitz sent Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser a thank you card.
On the outside of the handwritten card, Reinitz drew laurels, reflecting her growth at the college, as well as its new name. Inside, she wrote that she had always had “big plans,” but math and financial struggles left her unsure how she could attend college. The homeschooler attained her GED and enrolled in Laurel Ridge in 2020.
“I felt like I had been given a second chance,” Reinitz wrote. “So many opportunities opened up for me. I became a tutor, SGA president, a straight A student (even in math), and I have just been accepted to Virginia Tech this fall with a few scholarships, too.”
At Virginia Tech, Reinitz will join the Corps of Cadets while majoring in professional and technical writing. She said none of these dreams would’ve been possible without Laurel Ridge.
“…And I wish I could thank every single employee here,” she wrote. “They have each contributed to my success with their kindness and care.”
In an interview shortly after her May 14 graduation – during which she received an Outstanding Achievement in English Award – Reinitz said Laurel Ridge’s proximity to her Strasburg home, its affordability, and the quality of education she could receive while still trying to figure out her career path attracted her to the college. She said she has always enjoyed English class and writing, and it was while at Laurel Ridge that she realized she wanted to pursue a writing career.
“The advising team especially helped me to figure out what path was best for me,” Reinitz said. “I’ve always been interested in travel writing, so maybe once I graduate from Virginia Tech and I’m in the Air Force, I can be a travel writer while I’m an officer. Working at NASA as a technical writer also would be awesome. I know whatever I do, it’s going to be awesome.”
She said she decided to write to President Blosser out of gratitude to college employees.
“They have completely changed my life,” said Reinitz, who was also a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Kappa Delta Honors Society & English Club. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I felt like everyone should know how important their jobs are at Laurel Ridge.”
English professors Brent Kendrick and Ruth Holmes were her favorites.
“They were very kind and they helped me realize my love of writing and really strengthened my writing,” Reinitz said. “I loved Professor Kendrick’s creative writing class. That was my favorite class at LFCC.”
President Blosser was so touched by Reinitz’s card, she asked her to come to an employee luncheon where she could share her gratitude in person.
“It was a reminder of why we do what we do – and who we are here to serve,” said Dr. Blosser. “It brought tears to my eyes because here’s a very bright student who just needed that extra bit of confidence to know she could succeed in college. I’m so grateful she came to us, and I hope everyone in our communities who might not be sure college is for them knows we are here to show them college is possible.”
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.