ACC celebrates our Veterans | Meet Nicole L.

Austin Community College District (ACC) honors our current and former military members for their service. 

The college is dedicated to helping veterans reach their goals after retirement from active service. ACC Veterans Services provides assistance with benefits, degree and career planning, and counseling services. 

We asked a few ACC students, faculty, and staff about their experience transitioning from military life and what Veterans Day means to them. 

Meet Nicole L., who spent six years in the U.S. Marine Corps, with four and a half years of active duty service and a year and a half in the reserves. She began studying Computer Science at ACC in fall 2022 and expects to graduate in spring 2024. She also works as a Training, Research, and Development Assistant in the ACC GROW program within Career Services.

How do you celebrate Veterans Day?

I wouldn’t say that I celebrate Veterans Day, but I DO celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday, which is one day prior (November 10)! I like to use Veterans Day as a time to reflect and to check in with people I served with. Also, I thank my family members who were and are currently in the military for their service.

Tell us about a significant memory either while you served or at ACC.

It’s hard taking the leap from everything you know in the military to civilian life. I was working as a contractor and in the reserves after I left active duty in 2020. I knew I wanted to go to school, but I also knew that there were a lot of unknowns down that path. I remember sitting down one day after work and deciding to take the leap almost two years later. I made plans to move to Austin, and a few months later, I enrolled at ACC. I couldn’t be happier with my decision, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be here.

What is one of the biggest challenges for our veteran students?

I’m not sure if I can speak for everyone, as our journeys when we leave the military can be vastly different. One challenge that I’ve shared with many others is assimilating into normal life. The military is a world of its own, and it can be a challenge to learn how to be a regular person again. Here at ACC, I’ve met so many faculty, staff, and students that have been so kind while I make the adjustment. I’m also deeply grateful to the Veterans Resource Center staff and the Student Veterans Association (SVA) for making this place home.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

Any veterans and their families can find support and camaraderie at the Veterans Resource Center at Highland Campus. In addition, the SVA meets the first Friday of every month during semesters, and we are always glad to have more company and offer information to military-connected students.

For more information about Veterans Services, click here.

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