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Chilean-born NOVA student wins talent show, sings at 2016 commencement

Photo of Carolina Fuenzalida

Carolina Fuenzalida, a Chilean-born Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) student, recently participated in two significant events at NOVA – the largest community college in Northern Virginia and the second largest in the United States.

In April, Fuenzalida participated in the 13th Annual NOVA Idol event where she competed against nine other NOVA students to win the 2016 winning title. Carolina Fuenzalida rocked the crowd with a rendition of Journey’s “Separate Ways” and wowed the judges’ table which was made up of well-known regional and international musicians and former American Idol contestants Rayvon Owen and Sara Sturm.

NOVA Idol is a yearly singing competition for NOVA students. The College also hosts a high school portion of the competition each year and welcomes students from all NOVA campuses and local high schools to participate. Those who compete have the opportunity to practice their performance skills, get objective and supportive feedback from professional educators and musicians and share their talents with classmates and neighbors.

A month after winning the 2016 NOVA Idol title, Fuenzalida sang the United States National Anthem at NOVA’s 2016 commencement ceremony at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, where NOVA professor and Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden was the commencement speaker. This year, NOVA graduated 7,662 students who completed various associate degree and certification programs offered across NOVA’s six campuses.

In 2016, Northern Virginia Community College celebrates its 50th year. The College was established in 1965 as Northern Virginia Technical College. At that time, the College opened to 761 students enrolled in classes and now enrolls more than 75,000 students.

Find more information about Fuenzalida’s recent success as the 2016 NOVA Idol here. Learn more about the history of NOVA Idol here. To view the 2016 commencement ceremony, visit NOVA’s Video Services, and to learn more about this year’s graduating class, see the press release on NOVA’s official website. For more information about NOVA, visit the College’s website.


By Raytevia Evans

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.