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Lord Fairfax Community College’s foster youth program receives large donation

Thursday, May. 22 | By Fauquier Times Staff
David Gum, President and CEO of the National Fruit Product Company, recently presented a $32,500 check to Carla Newman, LFCC’s coach for the Great Expectations program for foster youth. The check was presented on May 4 at the 3rd Annual Restoration Concert sponsored by White House Foods.

“We are overwhelmed by the love and financial support of David and Paige Gum and the entire White House Foods family,” explains Newman. “The goal of our program is to provide intensive support services to students who have been in foster care, to help them succeed in school, in their jobs, and in life.”

Amanda Hilbrand was one of four LFCC students to attend the concert, which featured musicians Colton Dixon and Mandisa, two American Idol finalists. Hilbrand graduated from LFCC on May 10 with an associate degree in general studies. She wishes to continue her education in nursing at either Shenandoah University or through military service.

According to Hilbrand: “Transitioning from high school to college – and being on my own – was the hardest thing I had to get used to. It was always nice to know that the Great Expectations coach is there to help you. Lord Fairfax set me up for my future, and I recommend the Great Expectations program for any foster care kid.”

May is National Foster Care Month. According to Newman, 20 LFCC students are enrolled in the Great Expectations program. The program provides a variety of support services, including academic advising, career counseling, and assistance with the financial aid process. The program also provides a variety of incentive programs to keep students motivated. For example, a student who achieves perfect attendance for two weeks earns a gas card.

According to Newman, two of her students earned their associate’s degree at commencement on May 10. 71% successfully completed the semester.

“I am very proud of my students,” explains Newman. “Some are living with foster families, others are living independently. Many are working one or two jobs while attending college and are achieving good grades.”

The students in LFCC’s Great Expectations program have volunteered with CCAP. They have also participated in cultural opportunities including seeing a play at Shenandoah University and traveling to Washington, D.C., for a “Blue Man Group” performance at the National Theatre.

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