For Immediate Release:
September 28, 2007
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
MIDDLETOWN and WARRENTON, Va. – Last week, Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) student Margie Clark spoke at LFCC’s Women’s Luncheon and met the legendary journalist Helen Thomas. Yesterday, she met U.S. President George W. Bush. Through hard work and determination, this high school dropout and single parent is achieving her dreams and experiencing things she never imagined.
Clark represented the Virginia Community College System at yesterday’s signing of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act in Washington, D.C.
“I cannot put this experience into words. It was very exciting,” said Clark, a Fauquier County resident and accounting major at LFCC. “Meeting the president and senators was an enlightening experience. Before the bill signing, the president told me that community colleges have not received the recognition they have needed but are finally getting the recognition they deserve. The congressmen went on to add that community colleges need the recognition, because some of the most important things [in education] are happening at community colleges.”
Since enrolling at LFCC in fall 2005, Clark has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. She has also juggled full- and part-time jobs and the responsibilities of raising her son. “Financial aid has benefited me in many, many ways. I would not be at the College or be able to make a better life for myself and my family without financial aid or scholarship assistance.”
Clark plans to graduate from LFCC in 2008 and hopes to pursue a bachelor’s degree if she obtains financial assistance. And thanks to yesterday’s signing of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, more financial aid will be available as the government increases funding for the Federal Pell Grant Program by $11.4 billion over the next five years.
In his speech, Bush spoke about the impact of this piece of legislation. “I have the honor of signing a bill that will help millions of low-income Americans earn a college degree. I’m really looking forward to signing this bill. I love the fact that this country is dedicated to helping people who want to realize a dream.”
The president’s complete remarks are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/09/20070927-3.html.
The following photographs were provided by a media photographer, Larry Downing.
Before Bush signed the bill, he asked Clark (pictured in the orange blouse) to step forward. “My first thought was, ‘Is he really talking to me?’ That’s why I have such a stunned look on my face,” Clark said.
Founded in 1970, Lord Fairfax Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. LFCC offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. LFCC also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. LFCC serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lord Fairfax Community College. Lord Fairfax Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. LFCC also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.