Heather Goins wins RCC Foundation essay contestDec 23, 2020
Each year, Rockingham Community College students are challenged to tell their story through an essay, for a chance to win a monetary prize from the RCC Foundation. This year’s theme was “RCC: The Best Choice for Me.”
Gibsonville resident Heather Goins won first place with an essay that expressed the comfort of feeling at home at RCC, and how impressed she’s been from the first time she stepped on campus.
“I have been a student at Rockingham Community College for almost two years, and I will be forever grateful for the education provided by RCC. I am in the Associate Degree program for Nursing, and this will be my second degree,” Goins said.
“I have attended other community colleges and an in-state university, and RCC stands apart from other institutions. Everyone that I have interacted with, from the Admissions department to instructors, truly care about my academic success. RCC gives me hope for a brighter future. I am so thankful that I made the choice to come to RCC,” she continued.
Goins works at a local hospital, where she has witnessed nursing students from different programs, community colleges and universities alike, over the years during their clinicals. RCC always stood out to her as exemplary.
“[RCC] instructors were engaged and helpful to their students, and the students had a very professional demeanor. Several nurses that attended RCC have continued their education and have Masters degrees, holding high positions within the healthcare system,” she said.
“The ‘Start Local. Go Far.’ motto has upheld a reputation of being so true for many graduates that I know,” Goins said.
When she attended a nursing information session before applying for admission, Goins immediately knew RCC was where she wanted to get her education.
“The dean of the program had a passion that was contagious; she truly wanted each of us to succeed. I met with the Admissions staff and they were very supportive. I was not just another number, everyone took the time to communicate and respond in a timely manner to my questions,” she said.
“I am being prepared for a successful career with classroom education, hands-on experiences during my interactive simulation labs at the college, and in clinical rotations throughout various departments at local prestigious hospitals,” Goins said.
She said campus is not overwhelming and is easy to navigate.
“Recently, a food pantry was started on campus for students in need and this is just one example of how we all unite to take care of one another. RCC provides me with all the resources I need to be a successful student and accomplish my goals,” Goins said. “There is comfort in knowing that if I need them we have financial counselors, a personal counselor for tough times, security and safety personnel, and many others that extend beyond just academic needs.
“During these unprecedented times with a national pandemic, RCC continues to astound me at the measures they will take for their students and families ensuring safety and success are a top priority,” Goins said. “At RCC, whether someone is right out of high school or returning later in life, they will discover there is a place for them.”
Vannysa Coleman of Pelham, who is majoring in Information Technology, won second place in the essay contest. She first came to RCC to get her GED, then immediately started taking college courses.
“I was delighted to find out that I had received money towards classes as a reward for completing my GED. As a parent, every extra dollar counts. The classes are perfectly priced, compared to the other options,” Coleman said. “There are so many opportunities for grants, and scholarships. I can definitely appreciate the fact that upon the completion of my degree, I will not be in any debt!”
Marissa Mitchell of Browns Summit took third place with her essay. With an Associate Degree in Business Administration in hand from 2017, she is back to work on her Associate in Arts Degree with a goal of obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree.
“While being back at RCC I have garnered a whole new appreciation for the college. The staff are always reaching out to the students and they do a great job of showing their overwhelming support to each individual. This goes beyond just helping students academically, they also ensure that students know there are countless resources made available such as: counseling services, financial guidance, community service opportunities, career connections, and encouragement to engage in student life,” Mitchell said. “I thank the college for giving us these resources as it has exposed me to so many opportunities that have positively changed me.”