Dasha Chaney wasn’t ready for college the first time around.
Now the 23-year-old is close to completing her Tidewater Community College cyber degree in just one year.
“I’ve gone from nothing to something in three semesters,” Chaney said. “I actually have the mindset for college now. I’m ready to push and meet my goals.”
A TCC scholarship recipient, Chaney was awarded the Christopher M. Garrett Memorial scholarship for $1,800 and the Barnes and Noble Textbook scholarship for $600.
Chaney is grateful for the funds, as they are helping to ease the financial crunch of her final 16-credit- hour semester at the college.
A high achieving student, Chaney was delighted to be awarded an academic scholarship. “It definitely gives me a boost and peace of mind that I can and will finish my degree,” she said.
Growing up, Chaney opted for Game Boy Advance instead of Barbie dolls.
“I always liked video games that were hands-on and visual. That’s what attracted me to cyber security. It’s a field that’s always advancing,” Chaney said.
The daughter of a Navy officer, Chaney said her father, Lt. Cmdr. Shelley Pulliam, has been a great influence in her life with everything technical, and now as an inspiration for her cyber career.
“My parents encouraged TCC early on, but I didn’t listen. I had to find my way back after a time at Old Dominion and a very brief enlistment in the Navy,” Chaney said.
Now Chaney’s course is clear, and she is preparing to be a cyber security analyst. While at TCC she is also completing her Network+ and A+ certifications. She plans to transfer back to Old Dominion to complete her bachelor’s degree.
Chaney credits campus advisor Kita Graham with helping make the transfer process easy.
An online learner, Chaney sends a shoutout to Joel Kirch, her favorite professor. “The community at TCC is what makes learning possible. All of my professors have been supportive and engaging,” she said.
Chaney participates in the Virginia Beach Campus Cyber Security Club. Because of COVID-19, the group has been meeting virtually for games and competitions. Chaney also volunteers for TCC’s Computers for Student Success, helping to refurbish computers and provide them to students in need.
She encourages students coming after her to “trust in your process and push yourself.”
Chaney added, “Never think you can’t do it, because you always can! And if it doesn’t work out the first time, get back up and try again!”
Spring scholarships are available now and most TCC students qualify. Browse the list of opportunities at tcc.edu/scholarships to find your fit.