Toombs is inspirational

Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2019


I’d like to use this space this week to highlight Randolph-Henry High School senior Lily Toombs, who is a dual enrollment student in the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s (SVHEC) Career Tech Academy (CTA).

Last week, we ran a release citing how she has been named a winner of the eighth annual Virginia Council on Women STEM essay contest.

The release noted that nearly 1,000 young women from across Virginia submitted entries, and only five winners — each representing a different geographic region — were selected.

Distinguishing herself in a field of nearly 1,000 people is truly impressive, and as the release continued, it made clear that she genuinely turned heads with her essay.

On May 9, Toombs and her guests were invited to attend a reception hosted by Governor Ralph S. Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam for the Women in STEM essay winners, officials stated in the release. Standing on the lawn of the governor’s mansion, Toombs read her essay and received a $5,000 scholarship.

“I was a little nervous the entire time, but it was fun,” Toombs said in the release. “It was my first time in Richmond, and it’s a gorgeous city. I love it.”

CTA Administrator Stephanie Robinson said in the release, “Lily’s essay was phenomenal. At the reception, there were so many people who remembered her essay and sought her out. Mechatronics was a new concept for many of them — even the governor and first lady seemed intrigued as she read her essay.”

The release shed light on what Toombs has been doing as a CTA student, using her essay to help explain her academic focus alluded to in the quote above from Robinson.

Toombs attends classes five days a week at SVHEC in South Boston, the release cited. There, she studies mechatronics, a field combining electrical, mechanical, fluid power, robotics and computer systems technology to control a process.

“Mechatronics encompasses all of my core strengths, goals and passions into one field of opportunity that will not only benefit myself but the world around me,” Toombs wrote in her essay.

Toombs also serves as a good example of boldness for others with regard to how she came to be involved in the essay contest.

The release stated that although Toombs had never entered an essay contest before, when Robinson told her about the opportunity she decided to take a chance.

“I wanted a way to pay for classes and help with my financial aid,” Toombs said in the release.

I commend Toombs for her hard work, dedication and willingness to sacrifice to meet her goals.

Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@ TheCharlotteGazette. com.