Kick-Off Event for ‘The Shop’ Feb. 1

Virginia Peninsula Community College is gearing up for a kick-off event celebrating an initiative called The Shop. Centered on scholarship, brotherhood, development and service, The Shop is part of efforts to boost the retention and graduation rates of minority men and improve their student experience.

The Feb. 1 kick off at the Hampton campus in Gators Lounge begins at 11:30 a.m. and is among Black History Month activities planned at the College. The schedule of Black History Month events will be available soon.

Antonio Dill-Word, program manager of The Shop, said it aims to give participants a much-desired space for opportunities, exposure, and engagement.

 “The Shop has put together a plan that will create, combine, and strengthen communities with the intent of enhancing their overall student experience,” he noted.

Among program goals are to increase participants’ retention rate by 60% and research and address barriers that affect the pursuit and completion of education at VPCC, and more. 

The initiative will promote life skills such as budgeting and wellness while also incorporating cultural enrichment. This includes a visit to the African American History Museum in Washington, D.C., monthly community and team building exercises, and biweekly skills training.

“This plan of engagement will not only increase the strength of students at our institution but empower them to discover success beyond it,” said Dill-Word, who is also a VPCC presidential fellow.

Support for Dill-Word in his managing role will come from Program Advisor Dr. Valerie Burge-Hall, the College’s executive leadership, and a five-member advisory board – Kadisia Archer, Lloyd Carter, Chris Moore, Damond Pope, and Christopher Wallace. 

Learn more about The Shop at Instagram@VPCCTheShop.