Scholarship winner Olivia Brichter has a message for Professor Manisha Trivedi.
“I’m sending you a big fat thank you for taking the time, for believing in me, for all of it,” said Brichter, who will graduate from Tidewater Community College in May with an Associate of Science in General Studies.
Brichter was named to the 2020 All-USA Academic Team, a competition sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa. Based on the score she earned, she was named a New Century Pathway Scholar in Virginia.
She will receive a total of $7,250 in scholarship funds to pursue her bachelor’s in neuroscience at Roanoke College.
Seizures and attention deficit hyperactive disorder made learning nearly impossible until Brichter met Trivedi, TCC’s 2018 Professor of the Year. The pair connected weekday mornings to review materials for Brichter’s biology and anatomy and physiology classes. Trivedi helped with strategies for learning like reading the material aloud and writing difficult concepts on a whiteboard.
“Ms. T showed me that I could learn and built my confidence. I give her a lot of credit for my success,” Brichter said.
Brichter also received support through the Open Door Project, a program that offers free academic, career and cultural counseling to low-income, first-time college students on the Norfolk and Portsmouth campuses.
Brichter helped launch the Norfolk Campus Dream (Disabilities, Rights, Education, Activism and Mentoring) Club, a local chapter of the national group. Working with campus leaders, she started Dream to bring students with disabilities and mental health needs together to support each other.
She also worked as a work-study student in the Norfolk Campus advising office, helping other students write their own success stories.
“It’s been a highlight helping students also struggling to find their way,” Brichter said. “I’ve been able to share my story with so many people coming through our doors. My message is simple: get involved and take every opportunity to help yourself and others.”
Brichter’s journey at the college started a decade ago, so moving on is bittersweet.
“We’re a family on Norfolk Campus,” she said. “The people here helped me come out of my shell, built my confidence and gave me a new direction.”
Brichter hopes to pay it forward by working with children with special needs and doing research in neuroscience.
Financial aid and scholarships help Brichter pay for college. She also received two TCC scholarships: the Tryntje and Norman Willcox Endowed Memorial Scholarship and the Norfolk Campus General Scholarship.
Scholarship applications are open now for TCC students. To learn about scholarships that can help you reach your academic goals, visit https://news.tcc.edu/interested-in-fall-scholarships-at-tcc-its-time-to-apply/.