Deven Dodd selected as recipient of Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship

Published 10:04 am Friday, August 7, 2015

By Wendy Harrison 

Deven N. Dodd was still in high school when she began preparing for her academic future. She will begin the fall semester at Paul D. Camp Community College in August with pre-calculus I and II, biology I and II, and history successfully completed through the dual enrollment program. The program allows those who are eligible to earn college credits while they are still in high school.

Deven Dodd has been named the 2015 recipient of the Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship. She will begin classes at PDCCC this fall, and plans to study for a career in nursing. -- SUBMITTED | WENDY HARRISON

Deven Dodd has been named the 2015 recipient of the Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship. She will begin classes at PDCCC this fall, and plans to study for a career in nursing. — SUBMITTED | WENDY HARRISON

“I wanted to get ahead on my General Studies degree,” she said. “I knew I would need to complete that before I went into any field.”

Dodd was selected as the recipient of the 2015 Paul D. Camp Community College Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship. A Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship winner is selected from each of the 23 institutions in Virginia’s Community College System and is awarded by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE).

The scholarship may be used on any campus within the VCCS. This year, it will provide a $3,125 scholarship for a full year of tuition, books and fees.

Graduating with a 4.132 GPA from Southampton High School, the 18-year-old Courtland resident hopes to complete the associate’s degree along with the nursing prerequisites within two years before applying to the nursing program. Her goal is to become a registered nurse.

Her decision to become a nurse came after suffering from a heart condition beginning at age 12. Due to an abnormal amount of sinoatrial (SA) nodes, which are described online as the heart’s “natural pacemaker,” her heart rate would reach dangerously high levels. Despite going to many doctors, the problem wasn’t diagnosed until a few years later.

“After calling my mother to pick me up from school when I was having an attack, she took me to Courtland Medical Center when Dr. [Donald] Bowling was working,” Dodd recalled. “They ran an EKG and realized that there was an issue.”

At 15, she was faced with taking medication the rest of her life or enduring surgery. If she did nothing, doctors advised she would be on the heart transplant list before she turned 30. “The medication didn’t work,” she said, “so I had to have surgery. Thankfully, Dr. Reed at CHKD cured me and I no longer have problems.”

Although caregivers encouraged her to pursue nursing, there were a couple of additional factors that influenced her decision as well. “I like to help people,” she said. “And my aunt is an EMT.”

At Southampton High, Dodd was a member of the National Honor Society for two years. She also served two years in the Key Club and three years on the Keys for a Cure Relay for Life team. She is a first-generation student and a member of Courtland Baptist Church. In addition, she has a part-time job in Courtland. Dodd has been awarded Dual Enrollment Camp Opportunity Scholarships at PDCCC.

“Her father (Mike) and I are extremely proud of her,” said Deven’s mother, Trina. “She has worked hard to get where she is and I know she’ll continue to do so.” She also has a sister, Jamie, who has graduated from PDCCC with multiple degrees and certificates — the first in 2012. Jamie now works on the Franklin Campus as the College Success Coach Initiative Program specialist.

Dodd plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in nursing through Sentara or at a four-year college or university, such as Old Dominion University or Virginia Commonwealth University. She is interested in working in a surgical unit, but will decide while she is experiencing her practical training.

As a Commonwealth Legacy scholar, Dodd will mentor future scholarship recipients and participate in statewide events, such as the Student Leadership Conference, scheduled for fall. Commonwealth Legacy Scholars will also be featured in the Virginia Community College System’s Annual Report and on its website.

WENDY HARRISON is the public relations specialist for Paul D. Camp Community College. She can be contacted at 569-6792 or