“We’ve got to hoof it,” says Jan Gray, director of institutional development at Germanna Community College, as she leads students into the General Assembly Building. Her pace matches those working inside the building, fast and purposeful. Keeping pace is Stephany Hunter. A nursing student and mother of five, Stephany is used to “hoofing it.”
Balancing academics, clinicals, an externship for Mary Washington Hospital and serving as vice president of the Student Nursing Association at Germanna, has made for a very long “To-Do” list. It’s a wonder she had time to spend at the General Assembly. But Stephany understands the value of spreading her message.
“It’s important that we talk about these issues because they impact our education.”
“These issues”, i.e. a shortage of nurses, low salaries and maxed-out facilities became evident to Stephany while attending a National Nursing Association meeting in Kansas City. Being among her peers, who are struggling from the same issues, demonstrated how community colleges play a role in the solution and why they need to be supported.
“Community Colleges are picking up the bulk of the responsibility by producing more nurses. The technology, like virtual hospitals, has been such an asset. I am so impressed. ”
Waiting with Stephany, in the area outside of Del. Christopher Peace’s office, Doug Smoot, president of Student Government, reflects on his experiences at Germanna and his ambitions for law school. Meeting with legislators gives him a glimpse into a future in politics that he will pursue with the help of the community college system. The ambitious president has already made an appointment with Del. Edward Scott.
Quickly ushered into the Del. Peace’s office, Stephany and her fellow student delegates share their experiences in community college. Moments before the group’s photo opportunity with Del. Peace, Stephany drives home her message: “Saying yes to funding community colleges is saying yes to improved health care.”
Stephany says she loves the political process. She plans to be back on Feb. 6 for Nursing Legislation Day. Add “Advocate” to her To-Do list.
Pictured: Stephany Hunter (top) and Doug Smoot (bottom) were among Germanna students visiting the General Assembly on Tuesday.
Posted by Lauren Von Herbulis