Meet the VFCCE 2019-2020 Davenport Fellows


The Davenport Fellows program operates in partnership with the Ben and Betty Davenport Institute for Early Childhood Development in Danville, Virginia. Second-year students pursuing careers in early childhood education at Danville, Patrick Henry, Virginia Western, or New River Community Colleges are eligible to apply.

This prestigious fellowship supports students with tuition coverage, leadership training, and community service opportunities.

Pamela Bucchi, Danville Community CollegePamela is a lead teacher at a childcare center and currently works with children between two and eight-years old. She has already worked to earn her Associate Degree in Medical Assisting, and has returned to college to complete her degree in Early Childhood Education. She volunteers in the Danville community through organizations like God’s Pit Crew and God’s Store House. Pamela plans to strengthen her career skills and become Assistant Director of a preschool.

Susan Estes, New River Community CollegeSusan exemplifies a lifelong love of learning. She has attended six colleges, has earned two Bachelor’s degrees, and obtained a Professional Engineer license. While in engineering school, Susan tutored math and science at a local community college and discovered that she had a passion for teaching. She currently works as an assistant teacher at Head Start and is pursuing her degree in Early Childhood Education.

Vicki Horn, New River Community CollegeVicki works as an infant teacher at a childcare center. She completed her Early Childhood Development Certificate in May, 2019, and is now working to earn her Associate of Applied Science degree. In addition to her career, Vicki homeschools her own children and volunteers as a childcare provider at her church. She plans to earn her advanced degree at Radford University.

Xenia Diaz, Patrick Henry Community CollegeXenia is a mother and grandmother who loves to nurture children and help them build a strong foundation for success. She works as an assistant teacher at Head Start, and she plans to become a lead teacher there after earning her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. Xenia volunteers in her community by providing translation services at churches, and she tutors elementary age children who speak English as a second language.

Rachel Hodge, Patrick Henry Community CollegeRachel transitioned from teaching children to helping guide up-and-coming teachers. She currently works as a Davenport Institute Navigator at Patrick Henry Community College. Rachel is a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society student and has earned her certifications in Early Childhood Instruction and Early Childhood Education. Upon completing her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Development, she plans to transfer to Bluefield College to earn her advanced degree.

Sophia Kelly, Patrick Henry Community CollegeSophia is a mother, grandmother, and cancer-survivor with a dedication to mentorship. She works as a teacher in a childcare center and specializes in nurturing children with special needs. Sophia volunteers in countless ways assisting children in her community, including tutoring, organizing summer reading programs, and assisting in a teen crisis center. After completing her degree in Early Childhood Education, she plans to work as an advocate for high quality, accessible childcare. 

Kaitlyn Kirkland,Virginia Western Community CollegeKaitlyn is an assistant teacher at a childcare facility who is pursuing her Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development. Working with children has always been her passion, and her goal is to advance her career as a teacher and then reach a position on an educational advisory board to have a broader impact on learning. Kaitlyn plans to complete her advanced degree at James Madison University.