I fled Vietnam with my parents as boat refugees when I was just seven months old. Although many other countries offered us asylum, my family waited 13 months for the United States to accept our application. My family risked everything to come to America because, for my parents, this country has always represented hope, opportunity and freedom. Now, I’m able to fight for these values as the Delegate for the 42nd House District in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
I’ve devoted my career to ensuring all workers have the chance to achieve the American Dream. From my 12 years as a public servant at the U.S. Department of Labor to my advocacy work at the National Immigration Forum, I am committed to ensuring all families have the same opportunities that mine had.
Since first being elected in 2017, I have introduced and passed bills to protect coverage for preexisting conditions, expand voter access, improve worker’s rights, protect our waterways, and make Virginia more welcoming and inclusive.
Marquita Whisonant is the Assistant Director of Clinical Education and Outreach at VCU’s Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education, where she oversees the training programs, AHA Training Center. She began her Fire/EMS career as a volunteer with Hanover Fire & EMS, where she later became a career Firefighter/Paramedic. With years of running in the field, Marquita began to develop a passion for the health and well-being of the EMS provider. In 2018, Marquita completed a Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health from Maryland University of Integrative Health, and continues to deliver nutrition and health courses to EMS providers throughout the region, including the Central Virginia Expo and Virginia Office of EMS Symposium in Norfolk. With a drive to inspire students to achieve personal and academic success, Marquita is also deeply invested in building and instilling resilience in the EMS classroom. While at Hanover Fire & EMS, Marquita was assigned to the Training Division, where she assisted in the Paramedic program through Reynolds Community College. Marquita’s passion for teaching flourished in this role! Marquita furthered this passion as an EMS Training Coordinator for the Henrico County Division of Fire, where she oversaw the county’s EMS
education and recertification, and was the Program Director and Lead Instructor for their new, in-house Paramedic Academy seeking accreditation through CoAEMSP. As an experienced Paramedic and dedicated EMS educator, Marquita continues to share her passion and compassion to help students succeed, and she also serves as an Assistant Professor with Reynolds Community College. She is currently completing a Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning, with an emphasis in Adult Learning, at Grand Canyon University, where she continues to employ research-based creative strategies to engage students fully in the learning process and improve adult learning.
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