Going the Distance: 2012 Graduate Reaches His Goal, Inspires Family

ACC is profiling graduates ahead of the May 11 commencement ceremony. Read previous Q&As with graduates David Weaver, Melissa Triece, and Lauren Dominguez.

George Washington

Name: George Washington

Major: Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement

Degree/Certificate: Associate of Applied Science

Hometown: Pflugerville; grew up in Los Angeles

Graduation is almost here. How do you feel?

I am excited, relieved, and cautiously optimistic.

How long have you been at ACC, and what brought you here?

I have taken classes on and off since 1992. Each time I started a new job, I would take classes at ACC to improve my knowledge and update my skills. This time I decided to complete the degree program.

What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome to make it to graduation, and how did you deal with it?

My biggest challenge was my limiting beliefs. First I convinced myself that I didn’t need a college degree, then when I started taking classes I didn’t think I knew enough to pass. I was wrong on both accounts. I do need the degree to further my career goals, and I am more than capable of passing any class.

What kept you at ACC, and what helped you succeed?

There are many things that kept me at ACC. My belief that I could reach graduation was the most important factor. It helped that all of my professors were challenging, yet encouraging and helpful. It was also helpful that I had access to an abundance of resources through the Learning Labs, Student Life, individual tutoring, the comfortable surroundings at ACC, and the support of my wife and son.

What made you choose your field of study?

My background is in the criminal justice field, so it seemed the most logical choice. I am now considering a degree in social work so that I can help misguided teens.

What are your plans for the future?

I am currently pursuing a career in real estate. I have gotten my license and signed on to the Keller Williams team at the Northwest Market Center. I do plan to continue taking classes toward my degree in social work.

Could furthering your education be in the cards?

Yes.

What’s the best thing about graduating?

The best thing for me is that my two boys will see Dad graduate and will be encouraged to do the same. My daughter graduated from Cal State Northridge and is leading the way… lol.

Who is really proud of your accomplishment? (Besides you, of course!)

The one who is the most proud of me is my wife Gaby. She graduated from Northeastern in Illinois. It was with her encouragement and support that I was able to complete my degree program.

What advice would you give to the next class of ACC students?

Be BOLD. Challenge yourself. Use the support and the tools that you have available to go the distance. Most of all, believe in yourself.

What’s going to be going through your mind when you cross the stage on May 11?

Deep down I knew I could do it. I thank GOD and my beautiful wife Gaby for giving me the strength I needed to believe in myself enough to go the distance.

For more information about graduation, click here or contact the graduation office at graduati@austincc.edu. Check out the latest President’s Podcast for Dr. Rhodes’ thoughts on graduation.

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