Eight apprentices graduate in September cohort

apprentice group shot from Sept. 1, 2023, graduation

Virginia Health Services celebrated the graduation of eight apprentices during a ceremony held on Styron Square at Port Warwick in Newport News on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023.

The students graduated from Care Assistants to Nurse Aides. The earn-as-you-learn apprenticeship program, a six-week course that includes classwork and hands-on clinical skills, also covers the cost of the state certification exam to be a CNA.

The class is led by instructor Nora Gillespie, RN, and Director of Education Princess Henderson, RN, BSN.

The graduates will be employed within VHS. There were ties for valedictorian and salutatorian.

The class: Kenneth Akes, Jr. (co-salutatorian), Alaina Bottcher, Caryn Drake, Shanice Fleming, Tara Johnson (co-valedictorian), Amanda Lawson (co-salutatorian), Tyron Paul and Logan Scott (co-valedictorian).

Co-valedictorians Tara and Logan gave remarks during Friday’s ceremony. The graduates celebrated with family and friends during a reception at the education center.

Join the team

Applications will be accepted for our October earn-as-you-learn apprenticeship class on Sept. 11. Classes fill early, so be sure to submit your application once they open. Our students graduate with jobs within VHS and the program offers several benefits, including financial assistance. Visit for more information and to apply.


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