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COA Graduate on the Move! - Valerie Garland-Boyce
In May 1997 my nineteen-year-old son, Joel, was murdered in Norfolk, Virginia and at that time I relocated my family to North Carolina. I was very depressed and to alleviate the sadness and constant thoughts of my son, I enrolled at the College of The Albemarle in August 2000. Upon enrollment I requested a copy of my High School Diploma from Rhode Island, however, the records could not be found. So I began taking the required tests at COA and once complete, I received my High School Diploma. I was interested in Office System Technology and wanted to learn to operate computers so I enrolled in COA’s associate degree program. In May 2002 I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my Associate in Applied Science Degree in Office Systems Technology. While a student at COA, I served as a Student Ambassador for two years.   In August 2002, I enrolled at Elizabeth City State University in the School of Social Work and graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2006. And I didn’t stop there. In August 2006, I enrolled at Norfolk State University in the Master of Social Work program and graduated in May 2009. During my last year (2008-2009) I was inducted into the Zeta Chapter of Alpha Delta Mu National Social Work Honor Society. I served as a Graduate Student Counselor for two-years during my MSW Practicum at Norfolk State’s Counseling Center.   The following is a list of my Awards/Clubs/Organizations Activities: Alpha Delta Mu National Social Work Honor Society 08-09, Who’s Who Among College and University Students 06-07, Social Work Academic Achievement Award 06, National Dean’s List 05-06, Collegiate All-American Scholars Award 06, Elizabeth City State University-Chancellor’s Scholars List 02-06, Elizabeth City State University-Deans List 02-06, Highest GPA ECSU Weekend/Evening Student 03, College of the Albemarle President’s List 01-02, Minority leadership Award 00-02, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society 00-02, Social Work Club 03-06, Office Manager- Shalom International Church, Edenton 06-07, Youth Mentor 05-07, Elizabeth City State University Alumni Association 06-07, National Association of Social Workers 06-07   While attending COA I enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people and forget about my problems by concentrating and focusing on my academic pursuits. I appreciated the concern and understanding of the faculty, staff, and students. I would recommend COA to anyone who is sincerely interested in furthering their education and maximizing their opportunities to reach their full potential.
In closing I would say that the road will not be easy, I faced many challenges along the way from my High School Diploma to my MSW degree. It takes faith in God and determination to reach your goals. I am now in the process of applying for my Provisional Licensed Clinical Social Worker degree and plan to take the LCSW exam in the next two years. I am currently employed at Faith Counseling and Clinical Consultation Services, LLC in Edenton. The CEO and owner, Felicia Cofield, MSW, LCSW, has agreed to provide my supervision.
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