Helena, student New River Community College
REWRITING THE SCRIPT IN RURAL VIRGINIA If Virginia’s “rural horseshoe” were its own state, it would rank 50th in educational attainment. By comparison, the rest of the Commonwealth would rank second. To address this discrepancy, Virginia’s Community Colleges created the Rural Horseshoe Initiative to increase the number of rural students pursuing higher education. The program places career coaches in rural high schools to stand in where the student’s family and the school’s guidance staff cannot: planning for college and career, locating scholarships and financial aid opportunities, and solving the practical and personal issues that every young adult must face.