Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Germanna's Anita Newhouse is GCCEF Alum of the Year

She didn't think she was good enough. She was wrong.

Last Friday night Anita Newhouse accepted the Germanna Community College Educational Foundation Steve B. Jones Alumnus of the Year Award at the GCCEF Annual Dinner at Stevenson's Ridge.
 A friend convinced Newhouse, who thought she wasn't smart enough for college, to go to Germanna. With support from faculty and staff, she excelled, earning her associate's degree, then going on to earn a bachelor's degree while working at GCC. She's now manager of Germanna's Welcome Center. "I was that student in the parking lot, scared to come in, who I'm helping now," she told the crowd.
GCCEF Alumnus of the Year Anita Newhouse
Before registering at Germanna, Newhouse was hesitant to pursue higher education, coming up with excuses not to enroll.

“I have a child. I work full time. I wasn’t a good student in high school,” she said.

. “The truth is my self-esteem and confidence were so low that I honestly didn’t think I would be successful. I thank God I listened to a friend who convinced me to enroll at Germanna in 2000. She suggested taking one class at a time until I was used to that and then taking more than one class each semester. As time passed, I became more confident and I held my head higher.”
It was the encouragement of Randy Martin, an associate professor of business management, and Sarah Somerville, coordinator of counseling, both of whom work at Germanna’s Locust Grove Campus, that kept her going.
Newhouse was 29 when she started at Germanna. Her goal was to earn a bachelor’s degree by the time she was 40. She did it with half a decade to spare, graduating from the University of Mary Washington at the age of 34.
Along the way, she received a Virginia Community College System Chancellor’s Fellowship.

Anita Newhouse with family, GCCEF President Jane Wallace (left)
and GCC President David A. Sam (right)
The Welcome Center combines counseling, financial aid and admissions resources.
Newhouse said she can identify with “the hesitation, the anxiousness, the worry and the fear” some students she assists feel as they enter community college.
She also knows firsthand how those feelings may be overcome.

“If you have the burning desire to do it, follow your dreams and don’t let age or anything else hold you back from you want to do. Believe me, you can,” Newhouse said.

The Henrico native, who grew up in Spotsylvania County, graduated from Courtland High School in 1994 and from Germanna in the spring of 2006 with an associate’s of applied science in business management.
She graduated from UMW in the spring of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in leadership and management.
Newhouse began working at Germanna in 2006, while she was a student.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Anita! You deserve it. I am so proud to know you.

Cara Ballard said...

What a wonderful testimony! You have always been and continue to be a breath of fresh air. I am so honored to be your lifelong friend and now colleague. Congratulations Anita, you are so deserving!


Jamila Hassan said...


I'm blessed to know you and to know that through God all things are possible. You are an awesome woman, mother, wife, friend and employee and GCC has a jewel in you.

May you always rise to the challenge that it presented to you and know that you're never alone in this journey.

Blessings and Love,