Twenty-six female students were inducted into Women in Search of Excellence (WISE), a mentoring program which supports the educational success and leadership abilities of students. The first annual induction ceremony was held on Oct. 20th at the Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. The guest speaker for the event was Dr. Kimberly M. Holmes, director of retention and student success at George Mason University.
The mission of WISE is to empower women through professional and academic enrichment, while improving self-esteem and self-advocacy. With support from 21 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 two years ago after observing a need to uplift NOVA-Woodbridge female students who were in pursuit of their education and career goals.
“Each member of WISE is the author of their own book of life,” Myrick said. “Their stories are not exclusive to just one character, but as a WISE mentor, we will play a vital character within their lives. Mentors as well as mentees will join together to overcome obstacles, educate ourselves and share our knowledge with the community. I want to personally thank each of our mentors for their commitment to this newly-inducted group of young empowered women.”
According to Woodbridge Provost Dr. Sam Hill, women make up 53 percent of the campus’s student body. As the first incoming class of WISE and inductees embark upon their journey toward academic success, Hill said he encouraged each member of WISE to serve as role models to other students on campus and within the community.
“Mentoring transforms lives and the WISE program’s main focus is pioneering a group of leaders,” said NOVA President Dr. Scott Ralls. “Mentorship is about recognizing the greatness that is within an individual and helping them to bring that out, and that is what WISE is all about.”
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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.