The Patrick County High School (PCHS) class of 1973 held its 50th class reunion in September, 2023.
A presentation was made by class member and Patrick County Education Foundation (PCEF) Board Chair Dr. Stewart Roberson to consider supporting Patrick & Henry Community College’s (P&HCC) Patrick Promise as a gift from the class – one of the first to graduate from the consolidated high school - to future PCHS graduates. The class has donated a total of $64,149.94 thus far.
“Patrick County has a history of very meaningful investment in its students and their futures,” said Roberson, adding, “our class is fortunate to have benefitted from that community support and we’re honored to give back by investing in the future of Patrick County in this substantial way.”
Patrick Promise embraces a goal for support of Patrick’s students which is similar to The Harvest Foundation’s goal for students in Martinsville and Henry County - to provide free tuition to PCHS graduates attending Patrick & Henry Community College. PCEF invites the community to participate so that all PCHS graduates can benefit from the same level of investment as their peers in Martinsville and Henry County.
The early work of PCEF focused on improving the on-time high school graduation and GED attainment rates for Patrick County. As of 2022, the state on-time graduation rate was 89%. Patrick County's was 92%. To decrease or eliminate population decline, increase economic mobility for the citizens of Patrick County, and increase the economic attractiveness and workforce development of Patrick County, PCEF is committed to ensuring the percentage of Patrick County adults (age 25-64) with a post high school credential will equal or surpass surrounding counties/locales.
In preparation for enhancing the post high school credentialing of Patrick County citizens, P&HCC has significantly expanded its presence in Patrick County. General Education/Transfer courses as well as Electrical Groundsman and Mechatronics training are available at the Stuart site, Welding is available at Patrick County High School, and P&HCC has partnered with Wytheville Community College to expand Powerline Training to Stuart on the campus of Patrick County High School. Fifty-four percent of currently enrolled Patrick County students attend P&HCC free to the family.
In support of PCEF's goal, Patrick Promise will provide last dollar funds for Patrick County graduates to attend P&HCC FREE to the family for up to 2.5 years. As of November 2023, Patrick Promise has raised $139,000+.
“PCEF will enlist the support and involvement of other classes to have graduated from PCHS to continue the example set by the Class of 1973,” said Roberson.
Community members interested in donating to Patrick Promise are encouraged to visit https://bit.ly/phccgivenow (designate Patrick Promise when donating).