ROANOKE – Virginia Western Community College invites the public to attend a free discussion, “I Persist,” where panelists will share inspiring stories of how they overcame obstacles to gain their education and build fulfilling careers and lives.

Members of the panel will share their journey, answer questions and interact with members of the audience. This event serves to build cultural awareness in our community, help students feel connected to others who have successfully overcome adversity, and to encourage students to continue working toward their academic goals.

WHAT:                                 I Persist panel discussion

WHEN:                                 Noon, Wednesday, September 21

WHERE:                               Whitman Theater, Virginia Western campus (map)

PANELISTS:                         Dr. Milan Hayward – Vice President of Career & Corporate Training, Virginia Western Community College
Davina Gardner –
Social worker; Virginia Western alum
Rolando Holmes – Director of Programs, The Foundry; Virginia Western alum
Doug Pitzer
– Educator and entrepreneur, Strokes of Genius, LLC
Nickole Toler – College Affordability Navigator, Virginia Western Community College; Virginia Western Alum

MODERATOR:                    Brittny McGraw – News Anchor, WSLS TV 10

For more information on the I Persist panel, please contact TRIO Pathways Student Support Services, at (540) 857-7289 or