Liesle Biggs of Front Royal is working toward her associate degree in science at Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC).
Biggs was home-schooled and graduated in 2005 with her high school diploma. She currently takes classes at the Middletown Campus and saw LFCC as an obvious choice for her next step. Ultimately, she plans to transfer to a four-year institution to study something in the medical field.
"It's a good school and a quality school, and you can go from LFCC to quality colleges," she said.
Biggs plans to graduate from LFCC in May 2009 and possibly transfer to the University of Virginia. She intends to dedicate the summer of 2008 to researching scholarships and options for the transfer. She also has a regular babysitting job, working for a neighbor.
Biggs received the William H. McCoy scholarship for the 2007-08 academic year at LFCC. She has also applied for scholarships for the 2008-09 year.
Biggs says she has enjoyed all the classes she has taken so far at LFCC, but a couple of the classes and professors stand out in her mind.
"I loved calculus class with professor [Cyril] Petras, a fabulous teacher who made math a totally new animal to me," Biggs said. "I used to like it, but this was different - it was mind-bending, but in a good way."
She said she also especially enjoyed history classes with professor Curtis Morgan.
While Biggs appreciates LFCC's academics, she also makes time to participate in other College activities. She was in the science club for two semesters and was the club secretary for one semester. The club's activities included river cleanup and building a trebuchet. She is set to begin her second semester as a member of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society of two-year colleges, and had the opportunity to go to a large PTK convention in Philadelphia.
"It was wonderful to get together with students from around the globe and hear from the keynote speakers who were invited to the convention. I learned so much from the speakers, not to mention, I enjoyed touring Philadelphia!"
She has been involved with the student government and also enjoys LFCC traditions such as the spring picnic.
Biggs said that in some ways, coming from a home-schooling background, she thinks of LFCC as her high school.
"I drive there a couple of times a week and do my homework, so it feels like high school in the sense that I'm still living at home, but I also know from my parents and other friends who did go to public high schools that LFCC is definitely a college," she said. "The fact that LFCC is respected by other schools lets me know I am getting a real college education."
Biggs has four brothers, one older and three younger. Her older brother graduated from LFCC and paved the way for her, and in fall 2008 both she and her younger brother will be attending LFCC.
"LFCC is such a good choice and a perfect stepping stone between high school and a four-year college," she said. "It's a quality college experience for less money, and that's wonderful."
"I really respect the professors and the classes. . .," she said. "I have learned so much, and I'm glad I have a year to go; still - I will be sad to go, but I know they will have prepared me well."