Graduation Spotlight: Rebekah Peacock

Austin Community College District (ACC) celebrates a record number of graduates at its spring 2022 commencement ceremony. More than 3,340 students are invited to participate Friday, May 13, at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.

One of those students is Rebekah Peacock. She is graduating from ACC’s Global Studies program. Here is why Rebekah chose ACC and what’s next.

Written by: Rebekah Peacock

My name is Rebekah Peacock. This spring I am taking the final steps in my journey at Austin Community College (ACC) and will graduate with an Associate of Arts in Global Studies. I cannot begin the story of my journey as a student at ACC without examining the path and doors that led me here. At the start of a journey, the road ahead seems like an immense and impossible task, shrouded in a murky mist of uncertainty. Other times, the path forward seems clear and illuminated. 

I inherited many genetic conditions that cause me lifelong pain such as Celiac Disease, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I struggled throughout grade school due to stunted growth and pain. This carried over into middle school, affecting my academic performance. As I grew, my health issues got worse. I was bedridden and had to have homebound services to finish my middle school education. The mist of uncertainty fogged up my path. Still, I continued and stepped into the unknown, searching for the right door to open.

At 17 I knew it was time to get my high school equivalency.I came to ACC to enroll in the Adult Education program. I met an amazing and diverse range of people. Each of us had unique stories and experiences, and I learned so much from everyone. I graduated 95th percentile in reasoning through language arts and 87th percentile in social studies. I was also inducted into the national adult education honors society. After this first door, I founded ACC's Philosophy club and became a supplemental instructor (SI) for the introduction to Philosophy course.

The path to the next door became clearer. Such passions led to me thriving with a GPA of 3.95. An invitation to join ACC's honors society and Phi Theta Kappa came to me. In the ACC honors program, I joined the Youth and Communication Studies fellows’ program at the University of Texas - Austin, which provided me with opportunities to gain experience in community building, restorative practices, and civic leadership. I took the lead as the 2021 College Project Officer and conducted a project called “The Voice of the Student” guided by the past provost of ACC. I worked alongside ACC’s Institutional Research and Analytics to devise survey questions to send to all students at ACC. The project won regional, international, and the 2022 ACC Nite in the Life outstanding collaboration award. The project helped me realize I can use my passion for philosophy, humanities, and social sciences all together in a beautiful arrangement.

I loved being an interdisciplinary major in global studies. I am leaving ACC with a practical, real-life applicable education. Every class I took I ended up using in my other classes. I remember tying in what I learned in peace and conflict to my final paper on U.S foreign policy In Japan and the South China Sea. I have the tools and skills now to examine foreign policy, local policy, and economic policy, then apply that to create a framework to understand larger conflicts present in today's world.

I was accepted into Texas Women’s University, University of Texas-Austin, University of North Texas, and University of Texas-Dallas.  My next journey will begin at Texas Woman’s University (TWU), pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. I was inducted into TWU’s Honor Scholar program, where I hope to continue my social research, policy research, and passion for philosophy. The advice I have for anyone considering applying to college is DO IT! When the world tells you that you can’t succeed, look right back at the world and show it just how wrong it was. If you don’t have a support system, start with being your support, then look around to your peers and create one for all of you.