The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education has selected John Jimenez, who attends Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, as a member of the fourth class of the prestigious Valley Proteins Fellows scholarship program.
Jimenez, 44, was employed in the hospitality industry for many years, locating to the United States when he was 17. When he decided he wanted to continue to give service to his community, as well as further his education, he enrolled in the nursing program at DSLCC. He plans to volunteer at a local hospital as a translator (he is fluent in both Spanish and English), and he also serves as a Boy Scout leader. He and his wife have three children and reside in Buena Vista.
“It means a lot to me and my family” to be chosen for the scholarship award, said Jimenez, originally from Mexico. “It means that my American dream is about to be completed.”
The Valley Proteins Fellows represent the best and most motivated second-year students at Virginia’s Community Colleges who demonstrate both academic and leadership potential along with an uncompromising commitment to excellence. Of the 400,000 people Virginia’s Community Colleges serve across the commonwealth, only ten are selected for the Valley Proteins Fellows Program.
“It is an honor to have a DSLCC student included in this elite group,” commented Dr. John Rainone, president of DSLCC. “John is a shining example of what can be achieved through community colleges that serve Virginia and how anyone at any stage in life can move forward and reach their goal. I am sure that he will continue to be an ambassador for DSLCC, help to promote the value of a community college education, and share with others how higher education is critical for taking steps in career pathways leading to success.”
The fellowship has an estimated value of $15,000, which includes full coverage of tuition and fees.
The fellows participate in a unique curriculum that includes leadership programs, cultural opportunities and a community service project.
The fellows program is made possible through the generous donation of Valley Proteins, Inc., a longtime supporter of the Virginia Community College mission. The Winchester-based company has been in the rendering business for more than 60 years and currently operates 14 plants in 7 states.
“Congratulations to these students who earned some of our most competitive scholarships,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “These scholars are talented, motivated and community-focused. These men and women will be taking the reins of leadership and leaving their mark on the world and we’re delighted to work with them.”