Chalmers receives Rising Star award
Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Charlotte County native Renee Chalmers was recognized for her work at Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) aiding the state’s workforce development efforts.
In December, Chalmers received the Rising Star Chancellor’s Award, a prestigious career-related honor that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated advanced skills and knowledge to enhance workforce development efforts in the state of Virginia.
Chalmers was presented a trophy. “However,” she said, “I think it is more of a recognition.”
Chalmers said she cried when she found out in November she was going to receive the award.
“I had no idea that I was the recipient of a nomination, but a win! It was an amazing moment,” she said.
Chalmers is a 2001 graduate of Randolph-Henry High School and a 2005 graduate of Longwood University, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She holds two masters degrees, including a Master of Business Administration from Liberty University.
She works at CVCC as a FastForward Career Coach.
Relatively new, FastForward programs are short-term training courses offered through the community college system intended to fast-track people into a new career in high-demand jobs with above average livable wages.
Chalmers is credited with working tirelessly with partner agencies and grants to locate funding to assist students with financial needs, and ensuring that all school’s workforce development spring 2018 programs ran with nearly full student rosters.
As a result, her coaching services helped CVCC obtain significant gains in credential attainment by reaching a goal of 100 percent certification for the Certified Clinical Medial Assistant program.
“Renee has stepped into this position and made it her own,” CVCC Associate VP of Workforce, Business and Allied Health, Dr. James Lemons said in the release. “She has become an expert in promoting and enrolling students in the VCCS FastForward programs.”
Chalmers said that while ambitious and driven, the recognition was unexpected. That said, she noted the award is validation for all of the sacrifices that have been made over the years.
“From the sacrifices that my mother encountered; sacrificing her dreams of college to be a single mother of two children,” she said. “To the personal sacrifices and hard work that went into pursuing my education and working in public service related fields. It lets me know that my work has not been in vain; that I am making a difference and helping to change lives. It’s an extraordinary feeling and I am grateful to God for choosing me to be a ray of hope for others.”
She attributes some of her success to her Charlotte County roots and the education she received here.
“I’d have to say that my education with Charlotte County Public Schools did a great job of preparing me for college,” she said. “Also, as an alumni of the Randolph-Henry Marching Statesmen, I can say that participation in band provided me with soft skills needed to be successful in any career — time management, team work, etc. I’m so grateful to both for providing a foundation that has catapulted me to success.
“I would encourage our youth to get involved in extracurricular activities. This helps to build character and soft skills that are essential in the workplace. Also, do not take education lightly. Work hard, study, always put your best foot forward and just when things seem to be too difficult, keep pushing through to be the drive needed to make your dreams reality.”
And what she wants people to know about her job is what it could mean to them.
“I’d like people to know that there are grants and opportunities available to help aid in pursing their educational goals,” she said. “If there is a dream that has been put on the back burner, revisit it. It is never too late to explore educational or career pathways. In the words of Milton Berle, ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.’”