Future Business Leaders of America gain local education opportunities
seated at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation table.

Pictured left to right: Mehki Jackson, Riley Neighbors, Paige Powell, MeJazia Howerton, Aniyah Yancey, Ayanna Morton, and Brooklyn Morton.

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation staff were invited to sit-in at the FBLA meeting held in February. The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club, which consist of nearly a dozen members, began their meeting by reading their mission statement aloud as a group.

Next, the savvy students continued with a well-organized agenda. Each student introduced themselves and shared their education and career goals for their future. Thus spawning the invitation, from Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation (SVHEF), for the students to tour the higher education center.

“I could not think of a better way to keep them on their educational track, than a visit to see with their own eyes the opportunities available at the center,” said SVHEF Director of Operations Mrs. Angela Yancey.

Many of the FBLA students joined the club because of their interest in business.  Some students were members just to learn more about the club.  Networking and building working relationships are key skills these students are gaining. Last week, the FBLA club along with their teachers from Halifax County High School visited several departments of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC).

SVHEC Director of Communications and Outreach Hope Harris-Gayles steered the group through several hands-on learning labs: nursing, information technology, and robotics.  The group learned the importance of how many job-skills crossover from one industry to another.  For example, Information Technology Technicians could be hired by any company because everyone uses computers.  Whereas the nursing and medical field utilizing tech for all their equipment, also many procedures today are being conducted by robots.

Following the tour, the group enjoyed lunch and shared their thoughts on what they picked up from the tour.  Students enjoyed learning possible avenues for continuing their education locally after high school graduation. Whether their future career goal might be related to Information Technology, Nursing, or Business… next steps are available here in Halifax County.

“These young adults were very well-spoken and determined to make bright futures for themselves,” said Liza Fulton SVHEF Associate Director of Philanthropy.

Yancey reached out to the colleges at SVHEC, Danville Community College and Southside Virginia Community College, and gathered shwag bags for the group.  Plus, information on financial aid from TRIO and scholarship information from the Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation was provided.  This school calendar year the SVHEF has awarded over $41,000 in scholarship funds to students enrolled at the higher education center.

Both Yancey and Fulton would like to send a special thank you SVHEC Executive Director Dr. Betty Adams for sharing the importance of a LOCAL higher education center. Thank you Hope Harris-Gayles for the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center tour and a Thank You to all the wonderful instructors who took time to share their field of expertise with the group. Thank you FBLA students and HCPS Staff for your participation.

Learn more about The Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation on their website www.svhef.org or give them a call 434-572-5442.

Read article in the Gazette-Virginian