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Jasper Scales receives gifts from DCC 

Danville Community College alumnus Jasper Scales, left, and Gail Jones, Great Expectations administrative and office specialist, right, go through the donations DCC faculty and staff contributed to Scales after his family home was damaged in a fire three weeks ago.


DCC faculty, staff help graduate after his home was damaged in fire


(October 19, 2016)  – Danville Community College faculty and staff recently took up a donation for a former student after two of the rooms in his Oak Ridge Avenue home were destroyed in a fire about three weeks ago.

DCC alumnus Jasper Scales, who graduated from DCC with degrees in welding and welding technology in 2014, reached out to contacts he had made in the college’s Great Expectations Program after he and his family were displaced on Sunday, September 25.

Great Expectations is an initiative of Virginia’s Community Colleges designed to assist with the transition from high school to college for students who age out of the foster care program.

At DCC, that program is led by Donald Pippin, with Gail Jones as administrative and office specialist.

“Jasper started out as rather skeptical of our Great Expectations Program,? Jones said. “He had a rough life growing up, and had trouble trusting people. We seemed to work through that by demonstrating that we did what we said we would do, wanted to see him succeed, and were there to guide him through his college experience. We, however, got much more than we expected from Jasper. We saw a student that was new to Danville Community College, he progressed into an excellent student, and encouraged others, as well. Now, Jasper is a working member of society, has a family, and we get the bonus of him checking in on us from time to time. ?

Pippin and Jones reached out to Scales after the fire and coordinated an effort among the college staff and faculty to raise money for him and his family as repairs were made to their home. Cash donations, as well as personal items and even stuffed animals for Scales’ three children, were collected and presented to Scales on Friday, October 14, at the college.

“It means a lot. I didn’t have the best childhood and I’ve been homeless before. This is a rough world, but they’ve helped me,? Scales said, referring to Pippin, Jones, and the Great Expectations Program.

Scales won the Dr. B. Carlyle Ramsey Outstanding Great Expectations Student Award at graduation, where he spoke on behalf of the Great Expectations Program to inspire students in the college’s Middle College Program, which is aimed at helping individuals between ages 18 and 24 to obtain their GED and receive academic and career readiness training.

“He has been one of our most successful Great Expectations students,? Pippin said of Scales and the graduate’s personal struggles and successes in the classroom. “We want to thank the faculty and staff for all of their great support in recognition of the impression this outstanding student made during his time at DCC.?

Scales said the Great Expectations Program team held out their hands and never let go.

“Never forget where you came from or what you’ve been through,? Scales said. “There is nothing wrong with asking for help.?

On Monday, college staff made an additional cash donation of $200. On Wednesday, Habitat for Humanity donated bedroom furniture.

Scales’ family is expected to move back into their home by Thanksgiving.

Anyone interested in donating to help Scales and his family during this time may do so by contacting Gail Jones at 434-797-6433 or by email at


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