Vasileos Efthymiadis, a Manassas City resident, is sharing his story about the Grow Manassas Tuition Assistance Fund. This life-changing program is helping him, and others advance their careers in the Northern Virginia region.

Officially launched in May 2023, Grow Manassas is a “last-dollar” grant program made possible by the City of Manassas and available only to Manassas City residents. It helps cover tuition for select NOVA courses that prepare students for professional certifications in various high-demand industries.

City residents like Vasileos have enthusiastically embraced the Grow Manassas program. Through it, he prepared for and obtained his CompTIA A+ certification, an industry-standard credential required for many entry-level IT positions.

A graduate of James Madison University, Vasileos has worked in IT for nine years. And while he had always wanted to get certified in CompTIA A+, the cost and time required presented challenges; that is, until the Grow Manassas Tuition Assistance Fund was introduced. After hearing about the program from a friend who had taken a medical billing and coding course at NOVA, Vasileos decided to go for it.

“[CompTIA A+] was an excellent course that suited me perfectly because it was remote, and that worked out well since I live in Manassas and didn’t have to travel to Reston,” Vasileos said. He went on to say that Grow Manassas made it much easier to get certified and it fast-tracked his path to the IT credential. “Without my friend telling me about this, I … probably would have had to put it off for a year to save funds,” he said.

But Vasileos isn’t done with the tuition assistance program yet. He wants to continue to grow at his company, a defense contractor, and earning additional credentials will help him do that. Describing how his CompTIA certification has already positioned him for future success, Vasileos said, “My coworker moved up, and I told him about my A+ certificate. He suggested I apply for his position! [My] certificate shows my managers what I’ve learned, and my peers told me that there would only be more growth if I got the CompTIA Security+ certificate.”

Vasileos is grateful for the knowledge and skills he acquired through his CompTIA A+ course at NOVA. He is also excited for what Grow Manassas represents — a launchpad to a bright future. “I hope to continue to get certifications … [and] eventually work in computer security, Vasileos said. “Now, with the Grow Manassas grant, I have a realistic plan of action.”

Vasileos Efthymiadis
Vasileos Efthymiadis