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For the first time in its 60-year history, Glamour’s 2021 College Women of the Year are exclusively students enrolled at community colleges across America. What better way to commemorate this special series than to have Dr. Jill Biden, the first lady of the United States, talk to the undeniably powerful accessibility of community institutions, considering she is a professor at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), where her students know her as Dr. B.

“[NOVA] felt like home,” Dr. Biden tells Glamour Editor-in-Chief Samantha Barry during  an exclusive interview held at the White House in June. “I felt it was my niche.”

Dr. Biden teaches writing and says she demands a lot of her students—and herself. When she was serving as Second Lady, her writing was put to the test while applying for her professor position. As the only first lady thought to hold a paying job while in office, she sees herself reflected in her students, studying while taking care of their families and furthering their careers.

“One thing is clear: Dr. Jill Biden is the best national advocate for the power of community college that America has ever seen,” Barry says.

“People should know that community college is a stepping stone to whatever they want to do in the future,” Dr. Biden says. “They provide such a good, strong foundations. They’re very nurturing.”

Barry and Dr. Biden discussed the value of community college and the resilience of its students, running with secret service, and more in the interview, above. 

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