FORWARD: Allyson Bailey

“In high school, I was the girl on the news who suffered from traumatic brain injuries,” she said. “But I’m a whole lot of other things, too. At Tech, I’ve been able to figure out what those other things are.”

Forward - Allison Bailey

Forward - Allison Bailey
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In the moment, setbacks and failures can feel insurmountable. The good news is there are resources to help us overcome the challenges we face. Sharing our stories is one way to remind ourselves that we’re not alone. Those things we’re feeling? Someone else has felt them, too.

Forward - Arden Art
I was homeless, but not in the traditional sense. I came from a wealthy town, grew up in a well-off family, and even went on extravagant family vacations. That past life was halted due to behavioral issues with my brothers and ultimately my parents’ divorce.
Briana Ellis
"This is Home". Hokies say the phrase with pride. After two foster homes, five different high schools, and extensive personal trauma, sophomore Breanna Ellis, a scholarship recipient and first-generation student, also says the phrase with gratitude thanks to the help and hope she has found at Virginia Tech.

FORWARD is a series from Student Affairs featuring Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have faced, overcome, or learned from life's obstacles and setbacks. FORWARD aims to normalize the conversation about hardships we endure and to encourage resilience.

If you or someone you know has a story of resilience to share, please email Tiffany Woodall at

Forward: Jack Holland
In this video, hear Virginia Tech cadet Jack Holland, a senior, talk about the spinal injury inflicted during a football game that forced him to re-evaluate his dream of attending the U.S. Naval Academy.
Forward: Kimberly Davis-Riffe
How do you define success? Is it a six- or seven-figure salary, social influence, an esteemed reputation? Is it happiness, fame, independence? Maybe it’s a Virginia Tech degree and a job offer in your chosen field of study.