After getting out of the Army, Austin Community College gave me the tools necessary to succeed both academically and professionally. I spent two years at Austin Community College, and then went on to graduate with honors at the University of Texas at Austin, where I majored in both English and Government. Upon graduating, I was named a Dean's Distinguished Graduate in the College of Liberal Arts, and received the $20,000 Mitchell Award for my play, "American Volunteers." My play went on to become the first play ever to make the long list for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the largest literary prize in the world for young writers. Jane Thorne, a professor at ACC, provided particular encouragement throughout my development as a writer, even when I was no longer a student at Austin Community College. ACC's attention to detail and focus on personal development gave me the confidence that I could succeed in college, despite a poor record of achievement in high school. By giving me an opportunity to attend college, ACC allowed me to demonstrate that I could apply my new-found discipline to tasks outside of the military. My education at ACC focused on general courses, rather than on specific skills, which allowed me to think a little more in the abstract about life's trials. I use these skills on a day-to-day basis as both a playwright and as a graduate student in the Department of Government at the University of Texas. I owe a particular debt of gratitude to Spanish Professor Jeff Evatt for his constant encouragement and careful advice. At ACC, I made lifelong friends, and matured into the civilian world.
Submitted at Are You ACC?