Like a lot of high school and college-aged students, Brooke Brackenridge wasn’t exactly sure where she wanted her career path to take her.
The 2016 Alleghany High School graduate attended Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, and two years later, earned an Associate Degree in Business Administration. She figured a business background would be a good foundation for any direction she decided to go.
“I’ve always wanted to go into healthcare, but I’ve always liked business, too, and I felt having a business degree would give me more opportunities in the healthcare field,” she says.
Brooke is a DSLCC Educational Foundation scholarship student, having received the DSLCC Honors Scholarship in 2016 (a two-year scholarship for high achieving students) and a part of the Dabney Promise Program for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years, as well as this year’s recipient of the Municipal Employee Scholarship. She is also a member of the DSLCC Alpha Eta Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa – a prestigious honor society for two year college students – of which she was an active member.
“I am incredibly proud of Brooke,” notes Jodi Burgess, DSLCC Educational Foundation’s Marketing and Advancement Coordinator and DSLCC Phi Theta Kappa Advisor. “She has a heart for service. She is kind, caring, and a high achiever. Brooke’s desire for excellence will serve her well not only in her studies, but also as a nurse. I can’t wait to see all that she will accomplish.”
Brooke shared that DSLCC was the best choice she could have made for herself coming out of high school. Between scholarships and the Dabney Promise, she was able to complete her business degree debt free. Brooke also commented that while she understands that community colleges may still carry a negative stigma, DSLCC’s instructors are tough. Brooke says they are some of the best instructors she’s experienced, because, while they do require hard work and dedication, they also want to see students succeed. She noted that her DSLCC instructors were available to work with her for additional instruction and guidance outside the classroom.
She took a year off, and last fall completed her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training. The 22-year-old is one of only two female members of the Clifton Forge Fire Department – her father, Mark, is a longtime member of the fire department - and she is also a member of the Clifton Forge Rescue Squad. Having skills in both areas can come in handy, she says: “Whatever is going on with a call, I want to be useful.”
“That year off gave me a lot of perspective,” she notes. “I had been sort of wishy-washy about a career in business.”
Brooke was recently notified that she was accepted into the nursing program at DSLCC for the fall, and she’s scheduled to graduate with another associate degree, this time in nursing, in 2022. She’ll be following in the footsteps of her mom, Lynn, who’s a nurse and a 1991 graduate of the DSLCC nursing program.
“I’ve joked with my mom that I wish someone would decide my career for me,” she laughs. “But my parents didn’t try to tell me what to do.”
Brooke believes she might like to work in an intensive care unit or in the emergency department in a hospital. But that’s a couple of years away.
In the meantime, she’s getting ready to begin her nursing studies. “So many different people at Dabney have been instrumental in my education, answering emails, meeting with me after class, answering all my questions, everyone has been so helpful,” she comments. “If I needed anything, they were there to help.”
For more information on the DSLCC Nursing program, please contact their office at (540) 863-2838 or visit the DSLCC website at dslcc.edu. Fall classes begin August 24, 2020.