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Leading peers to success in service

Photo by Tabitha Gray
Photo by Tabitha Gray

Junior Social Work major Nikki Perez seeks to better veterans’ transition into civilian life, improve young veterans community involvement, and to help connect veterans and other non-traditional students to campus life.

After completing her studies at Collin College, Perez chose Texas Woman’s University to study Social Work after hearing good things about the university and their Social Work program. She chose Social Work as her major because of her love for helping others.

“I love helping people, I love seeing people succeed, I love to connect people,” Perez said. I want to help connect people to people who need help and I like being behind the scenes to do that.”

Perez is involved in the Child Abuse Prevention Society on campus, an organization that seeks to inform students and community members about Child Abuse prevention. Perez is also the treasurer of the Student Veterans Association, a student organization which connects student veterans to each other and to veteran resources to aid in the transition to their role as a student.

“I’ve connected to quite a few of the veterans so I’m glad I know there’s somebody else like me,” Perez said.

Perez seeks to assist other veterans in their transition to academic life through a program that will provide a book exchange to student veterans. These students may receive their academic funds later than expected and be unable to afford required course books. A book exchange will help prevent students from falling behind in their courses. Perez added: “If I have the book I’m definitely willing to loan that book out so that you’re not 3 – 4 weeks behind [in the class].”

Perez served in the Navy from 1992 to 1999. After ending her service and transitioning into civilian life, she was not aware of all the resources available to her until a fellow veteran from her church told her about the opportunities. She encourages veterans to ask questions about resources and opportunities.

“A lot of veterans are humble and you figure it out,” Perez said, “but sometimes you do need help.”

In her time at TWU, she hopes SVA can connect to other organizations from other institutions, including Collin College, North Central Texas College and UNT.

“We could learn from each other and help each other,” Perez said.

Perez looks forward to the SVA growing during her time at TWU and to increase its involvement at TWU.

“I’m hoping to see this organization partner with other organizations, collaborate with them, and do things to help the community in our fellow students.

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