Nishicka Allsbrooks of Rockingham has just earned her degree in Office Administration from Richmond Community College and starts a new job this month. She had tears in her eyes as she talked about everything she learned from her time at the college.
“From my first day at RCC, I realized everyone cares about your success. It isn’t just a job to them. They want you to succeed and support you in reaching your goals,” said Allsbrooks.
A single mother of four young children, she overcame one hurdle in her life when she returned to the classroom and earned her GED. She tried attending a large university and found it wasn’t for her. When she moved to Rockingham, she was planning to marry, but her fiancé was killed, and she found herself alone again.
“I needed to be doing something constructive with my life and decided getting an education would be my rehab. I decided to major in something I felt I would finish. I’ve always had a passion for learning office software, so I decided to jump into Office Administration, learn something, and do something with myself,” she said.
Allsbrooks said she learned to be a better person at RCC. In addition to mastering software, she learned attendance is important, self-discipline is critical, assignments have to be in on time, and you must be willing to learn.
“You learn you have to fight for your dream; it’s not about just wanting it, you have to go through life experiences to get it. You have to work hard. They don’t give you anything. RCC can get you where you want to be. They paved the road, but it’s up to us to get on the road and follow it,” she said.
She found support throughout the college. Faculty were always available. Tutors were there when she needed them. The staff in the Student Services Department offered their support.
Allsbrooks professors Kim Parsons and Gina Henderson-Bryant said she was a role model for other students and a pleasure to have in the classroom.
“Nishicka always had an eagerness to learn and approached her studies with a positive attitude,” said Parsons. “She was always willing to assist others if they asked for help. It was a joy teaching Nishicka, and we know she will go far in life. The Office Administration Department always stresses to our students there are jobs available for our area, and she is a great example of that.”
Allsbrooks wants others to become successful.
“I know there are other students like me who face financial hardship and have no family to encourage them. I saw people who started with me drop by the wayside, but everyone needs to know if you hold on and work hard, you can get exactly what you want at RCC. It’s a mindset … Even the president of the college reaches out to shake your hand and ask about your classes. This is a bittersweet parting for me. I’m excited about the future, but I’ll miss RCC,” she said.