With a grant of $100,000 from Dominion Energy, Thomas Nelson Community College is making plans for an annual dental clinic, community health fairs, STEM summer camps and Thomas Nelson scholarships for a two-year period, all focused on those who live in the Grove community.
“Thomas Nelson is pleased to partner with Dominion Energy to enhance service to the historic Grove community through educational and health programs that connect Grove residents with a range of opportunities at Thomas Nelson,” stated Dr. Patrick Tompkins, Thomas Nelson provost. “The grant enables Thomas Nelson to provide programming that would otherwise be unavailable to Grove residents.”
The grant money will provide scholarships to students interested in associate degrees, industry credentials or career certificate programs. These programs span from two-year transfer and career degrees, to short-term workforce training that leads to nationally recognized credentials.
The money will also pay for transportation from Grove to Thomas Nelson’s dental hygiene clinic at the Historic Triangle campus, where families will receive a full dental exam that includes a small medical exam in which students take the patient’s blood pressure and pulse.
In addition, it will provide Grove students in grades three through eight with a week-long robotics summer camp at Thomas Nelson.
"Dominion Energy is excited to support the Grove community of James City County,” said Melanie Rapp Beale, Dominion’s community affairs manager. “We are always proud to partner with Thomas Nelson in offering high-quality educational opportunities to the localities we serve, and being able to assist the Grove residents makes this grant uniquely special.”
John McGlennon, who represents Grove on the James City Board of Supervisors, said this is a step in the right direction from Dominion, whose Surry-Skiffes Creek Transmission Line continues to be deeply controversial in the community, and a good opportunity for Thomas Nelson to have a greater impact locally.
“It's always a good thing when more opportunities are made available, especially to underserved communities like Grove, and I think it will be appreciated by residents,” McGlennon said. “Something like dental clinics will help residents get the care they otherwise might not be able to, give dental students practice in the community, and provides opportunity to both.”
Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.