Cody Painter and Ashley Owens
For Cody Painter, 18, and Ashley Owens, 24, LFCC is a family affair. The brother and sister are studying nursing at LFCC’s Luray-Page County Center.
The pair are Page County High School alumni, with Owens, who lives in Stanley, graduating in 2011, and Painter, who lives in Luray, graduating in 2016.
Both are in the registered nursing course. Through a consortium agreement between the two institutions, Painter is enrolled in both the associate degree program at LFCC and Old Dominion University’s bachelor’s degree in nursing program.
A serious car crash involving Painter and his grandmother inspired their career aspirations.
“My grandmother was over at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville,” said Owens, who watched as nurses cared for her grandmother. “After everything that she had gone through, I decided that I wanted to do nursing.”
Painter had always been interested in the medical field.
“I saw how the nurses worked with patients and how great they were,” he said. “I decided that was something I would like to do.”
Both are interested in working in a hospital setting, with Painter leaning towards the intensive care unit, and Owens towards trauma or the neonatal intensive care unit.
Their cousin, Kim Blosser, LFCC’s vice president of academic and student affairs, was instrumental in their enrolling at LFCC.
“She really helped us out, telling us what classes to take, plus informing me that dual enrollment was an option when I was in high school,” Painter said.
By the time he had graduated from high school, he had earned a general education certificate and a pre-allied health certificate, thanks to dual enrollment.
His sister took a slightly different path to LFCC. She earned a cosmetology certificate while in high school, and went to work as a hairdresser. She continues to work at a hair salon, and has a 4-year-old daughter.
While her daughter was still a baby, Owens decided to start studying at the Luray-Page County Center.
The siblings hope funds can be raised to build a new center behind the Wal-mart in Luray.
“We really do need a building where we can all be together in one space, instead of having to go to the high school for labs,” Owens said.
She said it will also mean more college classes can be offered locally, negating the need for locals having to drive far to obtain an education.
Owens and Painter work together as work-study students at LPCC, doing administrative work for the center’s office manager/advisor Judith Suddith. Painter described Suddith and other colleagues as “the best coworkers we’ve probably ever worked with.”
They would recommend LFCC to anyone.
“I feel like everyone is so down-to-earth at LFCC,” Owens said. “I feel like a lot of people are nervous about coming to college, but this isn’t a place to be nervous to come to because everyone really welcomes you and helps you feel at home.”