Meet the Advisers

VA Map with VCAC Adviser Locations
Virginia Map of VCAC Adviser Locations
2015 VCAC Advisers
Advisers Countysort descending
Photo of Samantha Karp, VCAC Adviser Samantha Karp
CLAS 2015
Psychology and Women, Gender, & Sexuality, Minor in Bioethics
T.C. Williams High School

I chose to serve as a College Adviser because I have always been excited about and interested in the college process, and wanted to help younger students reach their potential in postsecondary education. VCAC allows me to work directly with students in every stage of the process, especially those who may not have seen any type of postsecondary education as a possibility. I'm so excited to work with and be inspired by these students!

Photo Kiana Williams, VCAC Adviser Kiana Williams
CLAS 2015
Anthropology and Women, Gender & Sexuality, Minor in Media Studies
Buckingham County High School

I serve as a College Adviser because I believe all students should be given the opportunity to succeed and follow their passion. As a low-income, first generation student myself, I know what it's like being on the other side of the situation, and how difficult it can be without someone to motivate you and remind you that no matter the odds, college is indeed possible with the right resources. I see so much potential in each and every one of my students in Buckingham County, and if I can be that extra push they need, then I know I have done something meaningful with my two years in the program.

Buckingham County
Staige Davis Staige Davis
Charlottesville High School

As a tutor of children from inner-city schools in Richmond, VA, I was struck the number of bright students who passed by chances to attend the best public high schools in our area, simply because no one in their community encouraged them to do so.  That experience taught me that intellectual ability is rarely the primary roadblock to academic success.  The non-academic barriers to education only grow larger in the transition from high school to college.  My primary goal is to help students and their families see these barriers not as dead-end streets, but as surmountable challenges.

Photo of Gregory Allen Turner, VCAC Adviser Allen Turner
CLAS 2014
Foreign Affairs
George Washington High School

Advising to me is not merely filling students' heads with words and facts. For me the job is about instilling confidence in the next generation so they can go out into the world with the will and fortitude to achieve anything they set their minds to.

Photo of Sabrey Garling, VCAC Adviser Sabrey Garling
CLAS 2015
Fluvanna County High School

Having gone through the college search and application processes on my own, I know the potential issues students might face. Some students may have several reasons why they can't go to college and often overlook the reasons why they can. I strive to help such students see their collegiate potential.

Fluvanna County
Photo of Carly Gordon, VCAC Adviser Carly Gordon
CLAS 2015
Spanish and Psychology, Minor in Global Sustainability
William Monroe High School

I was very fortunate to have a strong support system of family and friends in high school who were encouraging of the college going culture and my desire to attend a four year university. Even though my path had some bumps, my graduation from the University of Virginia is due entirely to this support system. I know that not every high school student has this resource available to them, so I believe it is my job as a College Adviser to fill in those gaps for my students. Every high school student should have the opportunity to fulfill their post-secondary school dreams, and I can’t wait to help my students do just that!

Greene County
Photo of Stephanie Tamayo, VCAC Adviser Stephanie Tamayo
CLAS 2015
Spanish and Sociology
Bassett High School

I was lucky enough to have a College Adviser when I was in high school and I wanted to give the services back. I want to encourage students to aim high and be the voice that tells them that they can and to help them realize their potential.

Henry County
Photo of Taylor Dowd, VCAC Adviser Taylor Dowd
CLAS 2015
Anthropology and History
Magna Vista High School

Planning the next steps after high school can be daunting, and sometimes students just need a little guidance to help them tackle those steps and reach their goals. I am a College Adviser because I believe in my younger peers and want to provide them with resources and support that can facilitate their transitions.

Henry County
Photo of Nia Wilson, VCAC Adviser Nia Wilson
CLAS 2015
Foreign Affairs and East Asian Studies
Northumberland County High School

I serve as a College Adviser because I want everyone to have an opportunity to go to college and succeed. I think the College Advising Corps does a great job of helping students realize that college is not only an option for them, but a place where they can thrive. Becoming a College Adviser is an incredible opportunity to serve the community and help students reach their education goals.

Photo Kaitlin LaGrasta, Virginia College Adviser Kaitlin LaGrasta
CLAS 2015
Anthropology and Spanish, Minor in Art History
Louisa County High School

My goals are to demystify higher education and to show every student that it is achievable. Serving with the College Advising Corps means being a mentor who helps to create a college-going culture in a high school and in the surrounding community. I serve as a College Adviser because I want each student to achieve their dreams!

Louisa County
Photo of Colin Williams, VCAC Adviser Colin Williams
CLAS 2015
Government and African-American Studies, Minor in History
Martinsville High School

I serve as a College Adviser because I believe that the students I work with are capable of achieving at the next level of education and realize their lifelong dreams. They just need that little push, and I hope my own successes, along with the resources at my disposal, will motivate them to forge ahead in their pursuits.

Photo of Rebecca Hawes, VCAC Adviser Rebecca Hawes
CLAS 2014
American Studies and Religious Studies
Nelson County High School

Coming from rural Virginia, I was lucky enough to have a good support system when applying to college. Because of my experience, I want to be able to support the next group of students as they start their journeys to post-secondary education. I am so excited to help guide these students through the college process and make their way to the next stage of their lives!

Nelson County
Photo of Julie Kusnerik Julie Kusnerik
CLAS 2015
Sociology and Women, Gender, & Sexuality
Orange County High School

I am a College Adviser because I believe in all of the amazing things that my students can accomplish. I care about helping them set and achieve the best post-secondary education goals for themselves. Being an adviser means being a resource for all students. It means not only teaching and advising students, but helping to inspire them. The work that VCAC has accomplished is truly amazing and I am excited to be a member of this wonderful team!

Orange County
Photo of Emily Wimmer, VCAC Adviser Emily Wimmer
CLAS 2014
Biology and Psychology
Patrick County High School

Growing up in a small town in southern Virginia, I was fortunate to have my own College Adviser who helped me navigate my path to college. I treasure the opportunity to be in this position and give back to students and families in a community that has given me so much. I cannot wait to help the students make plans for their futures and do my very best to make their dreams of college a reality!

Patrick County
Photo of Kelia Washington, VCAC Adviser Kelia Washington
CLAS 2015
Cognitive Science, Minor in Global Studies in Education
Gretna High School
Chatham High School

The type of resource that a College Adviser provides is invaluable and unfortunately, was not available to me while I was trying to navigate college applications and scholarships. Although I was able to make it through successfully, that was not and is not the case for many students. I want to be that resource. I want to be there for these students, especially for those that might not have anyone else.

Pittsylvania County
Photo of Shanice Hardy, VCAC Shanice Hardy
CLAS 2015
Women, Gender, & Sexuality
Dan River High School
Tunstall High School

I serve as a college adviser because I was a low-income, first-generation college student and I tried to do everything on my own until I met my high school college adviser. She helped me get to the University of Virginia. I want to be that resource for today's first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented minority students especially in a time where college is seeming more and more inaccessible to these groups. I feel a sense of responsibility to help the youth coming behind me and Virginia College Advising Corps is one way for me to do that.

Pittsylvania County
Shakye Jones Shakye Jones
CLAS 2014
Major: Foreign Affairs and African American Studies, Minor: African Studies minor
Armstrong High School

My journey to college was facilitated by the organizations I joined outside of school. I was allotted the opportunity to visit many colleges and universities beginning in the eighth grade that broadened my horizon about post high school graduation plans. I am one of few underrepresented low-income students who had the support network of a high school college counselor and high school community that provided me with the necessary resources needed to conquer the college application process. I believe in VCAC's mission to help students with their post secondary endeavors. As a 2014-2015 Coprs member I plan to further that mission and help students recognize their potential, pursue post secondary education and eventually shed light on other students in need of near peer motivation.

Richmond City
Gabrielle Long Gabrielle Long
CLAS 2014
Double Major: Foreign Affairs & African-American Studies
Huguenot High School

I was fortunate to have a large support system of family and friends throughout the college application process.  I chose to be a college adviser because as an adviser I will be able to be that extra in-school resource for students navigating the process to post-secondary education.  I am excited to help guide and mentor these students during this critical stage in their lives.

Richmond City
Photo of Sarahbeth Vernon, VCAC Adviser Sarahbeth Vernon
CLAS 2015
Media Studies and French
Rappahannock High School
Washington & Lee High School

Some of my favorite memories from childhood take place in the Northern Neck. It's as if I've come home. While I grew up in Richmond, I also spent much of my childhood in the Northern Neck. So, I wanted to help a community that has brought me so much joy, kindness, and peace. There is such a need in rural communities for college access, and I couldn't think of a better way to give back to a place that has given me so much. I am passionate about education, and college access to low-income students. There is much that needs to be done, but every single student has potential to change the world. I want to help them find their right path.