While I was a student in the Center for Communications, I was exposed to so many different opportunities that many students are not able to partake in. I attended two trips to New York to learn about mass media and communication, many trips to Black Friar Theater in Staunton, and was able to visit places around Richmond to film for the two television shows that the center produces. In the classroom I worked on the newspaper staff and created a portfolio I was able to take with me to college. This portfolio included work from all four years I attended the center and gave me an advantage in the college work force. Working with mass media in high school enabled me to find a job on my campus in Athletics Media Relations.
Aside from the communications aspect, my writing improved and really prepared me for college courses. The transition from the center to Longwood University wasn’t difficult because of how prepared I was coming into school. In the center we worked on public speaking and various types of writings that led me to succeed in my English and literature courses as well as in other courses where the curriculm was heavy with writing. The relationships I made within the center will aide me as I go into the workforce and network with those around me.
From Kim Price, CFC Class of 2008, Penn State University 2013
Lots of students are eager yet scared about entering high school. Some worry about making new friends while others worry about joining sports teams or playing in the marching band. Most however, hope that it will be a positive experience to remember forever. My time in the Center for Communications introduced me to amazing students who did all of those things and then some. One thing that we all had in common was our drive to succeed. But that often began with the faculty. Devoted to pushing their students beyond their highest potential, the faculty quickly became great mentors who were determined to expose each student to various forms of communications. While in high school, I learned about video production and editing, graphic design, journalism and so much more. At the CFC, the faculty believes in not only teaching through books but also through practical experience. For me, the opportunity to learn through a hands-on education was extremely important when I began my college search.
Entering my first year at Penn State University I had a passion for design, advertising, and cinematography…three things that I was able to immediately get involved in because of my CFC experience. Years later, I have the opportunity to intern with Penn State Athletics, work for the world-renowned CBS Sports in New York, and learn from the best at mOcean (an entertainment, advertising, and production company) in Los Angeles.
If anyone were to ask me what I most enjoyed about high school, I would quickly reply “My experience in the Center for Communications.” There I made some of my best friends, went beyond my personal limitations, and developed as a devoted and well-rounded student. If you’ve thought about joining the Center for Communications for even a moment, I’d strongly urge you to apply to the best high school experience around.
From Alpha Mansaray, CFC Class of 2012, University of William and Mary
I am the type of person that likes change. At the end of my 8th grade year, I knew I did not want to go to high school with the same people I went to middle school with. I applied to the different specialty centers, and in the end I chose the Center for Communications hoping that Varina will be the change in school setting I needed.
English is not my first language. In middle school, I always had a problem expressing myself effectively with the English language. One reason I chose the Center for Communications above other centers is because I knew the center would help me accomplish my goal. I made the right choice because learning how to express myself effectively with the English language is what prepared me the most for college. Every time I have to give a PowerPoint, attend a job interview or just write a paper, I feel comfortable doing it because the center gave me the skills to do it effectively. I came into the center hoping to improve my use of the English language, but I left knowing much more. I left knowing that I became a more well rounded person, and I left the center knowing that I made life-long relationships not only with students but with teachers as well.
Danielle Childress, Class of 2012, University of Virgnia
Because of my participation in the Center for Communications, I had so many experiences and advantages that I would have never come across otherwise. Within the program, I took advantage of several opportunities to get involved: I worked as a newspaper editor in my senior year and regularly spoke to middle schoolers interested in the program. These kinds of activities only helped my abilities within the curriculum. I got even more practice in writing news stories, conducting interviews, and speaking in front of larger audiences. After completing the program, I was offered a job in the video office of my college football team. Now, between classes, I film practices and games, meet the players, and work with different computer softwares to save and view the footage for coaches and players to later review. I absolutely love my job and I would never have had the skills and recommendations to receive without CFC.
Katie Pulliam, Class of 2011, Elon University
I fell in love with the Center for Communications on my first day of class. I can’t remember a single unit in any grade that I hadn’t looked forward too. Every aspect of mass communications was addressed and I wanted a career in every field we learned about. Working on The Blue Devil’s Advocate was one of the most rewarding experiences of my time at Varina. My work on the paper during my sophomore year helped me earn a paid staff position on The Pendulum, my college’s newspaper, my first semester as a freshman. My favorite projects without a doubt involved a camera. Some of my best memories from high school include being chased by a monkey, flying down a soapy slip’n’slide in the cold, and painting giant platforms all for the sake of film. I learned to edit video on professional software, which gave me a great portfolio and a boost in my first college communications classes.
Varina’s Center for Communications introduced me to the world of film and editing. The education I received there gave me an incredible jumping point for college. It made the transition to college level courses easy and has helped me get into a great position for future internships and jobs. Today, I study Media, Arts and Entertainment with an emphasis in cinema at Elon University. I spend my free time working on a sketch comedy show called Elon Tonight. I write, film, direct, and edit video for the show.