Thirty-two Northern Virginia Community College female students were inducted into Women in Search of Excellence (WISE), a mentoring program which supports the educational success and leadership abilities of students. Young women from two of NOVA’s campuses, Woodbridge and Manassas, joined the organization’s mission toward professional and academic enrichment during an annual induction ceremony held at each respective campus.
The mission of WISE is to empower women through professional and academic enrichment, while improving self-esteem and self-advocacy. With support from NOVA faculty and staff mentors, WISE students establish academic, personal and career goals; learn how to make informed decisions; identify resources and pathways to successfully achieve their goals; cultivate strong relationships with women in business and academia, and develop leadership and self-improvement skills.
WISE Founder and Program Leader Tykesha Myrick conceptualized the idea of forming a mentoring program three years ago after observing a need to uplift NOVA-Woodbridge female students who were in pursuit of their education and career goals. Since then, the Manassas Campus has formed the same mentoring program under the direction of WISE program leader Ramunda Young. WISE-Manassas currently has a total of 20 students and held their first induction ceremony on Oct. 13, with WISE-Woodbridge to follow with their second annual induction on Oct. 19. WISE-Woodbridge currently has a total of 28 student participants.
“I’m so grateful that the Manassas Campus saw something in us that motivated them to want to expand upon making this remarkable organization an option for their students,” said Myrick. “We cannot have a WISE without having a foundation. I appreciate our WISE mentors and their willingness to share their life experiences and insight, and all the tasks they accomplish just because they believe in the program.”
“This combination of external and internal mentorship has been very successful, and the connection and support from the community has been pleasantly overwhelming,” said Young. “With the enthusiastic support of Manassas Provost Dr. Molly Lynch, Dean of Students Mark Kidd and other faculty, WISE is poised to be a wonderful addition to the Manassas Campus.”
WISE inductees at both campuses received words of affirmation toward success and personal growth from guest speakers Elizabeth White, entrepreneur and author (WISE-Manassas) and Charles King, self-development and transformational coach (WISE-Woodbridge) during their ceremonies. WISE is open to any NOVA enrolled female student who is dedicated to the mission of the program. The program’s activities and events are open to all academically eligible students, faculty and staff, without regard to race, gender, national origin or other characteristics.
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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.