Supporter Spotlight: Roanoke Higher Education Center

In order to serve over 5,000 people each year, TAP relies on the help of community partners. This is especially true of the Roanoke Higher Education Center (RHEC). Not only are they a sponsor of our Bringing Hope Home campaign, but the building also houses several TAP programs.

A One-Stop Shop

Located in downtown Roanoke, the RHEC provides a state-of-the-art facility for colleges and workforce agencies. Kay Dunkley, executive director of the RHEC, explains, “The Center was established to provide access to education and training opportunities to meet the needs of the citizens of our localities.” The similarities in our missions made the move of TAP’s This Valley Works youth and adult education programs to the RHEC a natural next step. This addition made the RHEC a one-stop shop for those hoping to improve their lives through education and job training.

“The RHEC has been home to This Valley Works for more than 20 years. It not only houses the majority of our programs but serves as a learning tool to our students. Sharing the same hallways and classrooms as college students helps our students understand that they really aren’t different; they are equal and can succeed in a world that has always seemed a distant, unachievable dream to many,” explains Jo Nelson, director of TAP This Valley Works.

Serving the Community Together

Kay notes that the services of TAP and the RHEC dovetail perfectly to serve the community. “TAP, through all their programs—Head Start, Project Discovery, workforce readiness, housing assistance, veterans, etc.—contribute[s] to the quality of life of the citizens of our region. RHEC’s mission is aligned,” she says.  “Both our organizations contribute to creating a productive workforce and lending support to human capital results in positive economic development.”

Reinforcing their support of this shared mission, the RHEC has been an annual sponsor of TAP’s Bringing Hope Home campaign. Kay notes that she’s seen firsthand how TAP helps individuals in the region achieve their goals. “TAP gives hope to so many people in our community to better their lives,” she says. “Securing affordable housing means folks can support their families. Earning job skills results in increased earnings. Having a TAP mentor and/or a coach who believes in you gives you confidence and motivation to be a better person. All of these things boost changes for success!”

Here at TAP, we are incredibly grateful for the support of the Roanoke Higher Education Center and look forward to continuing our partnership in creating opportunities for education in our community. If you’d like to become a Bringing Hope Home sponsor and contribute to change in your community, contact Robin Reynolds at or 540.283.4866.