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NOVA student wins Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments essay competition

Shenley Ross

Northern Virginia Community College student Shenley Ross will be recognized by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) for winning an essay competition where students wrote about the future of the D.C. metropolitan area. This opportunity was afforded to NOVA students through the College’s membership with the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.

“I never thought that an essay of mine would be reviewed by an organization as prestigious and important as the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments,” Ross said. “I am thankful to this organization and its members for encouraging students like myself to delve into topic areas that speak to how our generation in the future can create a better life.”

In her essay entitled “Washington D.C. in 2040: A Brave New World,” Ross discussed how the region is currently going through major changes and will continue to see these changes in its transportation infrastructure, natural environment and general quality of life. These are improvements that are heavily influenced by millennials in the region who are always looking to change their lifestyles for the better, Ross explains in her essay.

“This competition was such a wonderful opportunity for our students to express their thoughts and ideas about the future of the region in which they work and live,” said Alexandria Campus Provost Annette Haggray. “Shenley is an exemplary student, and we’re proud of her and this major accomplishment. We’re appreciative of the partnership with the Consortium and the connection with COG that allows our students to participate in this unique competition.”

This past summer, Ross studied abroad in Ireland for three weeks after receiving the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. The Gilman Scholarship targets students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad, including but not limited to first-generation college students, students in STEM fields, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, students attending HBCUs or other minority-serving institutions and students attending community colleges.

Ross is currently pursuing an associate degree in liberal arts and plans to graduate in spring 2018. She juggles classes at NOVA, working full-time and parenting. Even with her full schedule, she still managed to get inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. For her impressive essay, Ross received recognition and $500 during COG’s Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Luncheon at Gallaudet University on Dec. 13. 

Media Contact: Raytevia Evans | 703.425.5839 | revans@nvcc.edu

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 NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.