Cassie Carlson, a second year student at Mount Wachusett Community College, is studying Human Services so she can become a social worker specializing in veteran's services. A veteran herself, Cassie is involved on campus with many veteran related projects such as coordinating Wreaths Across American at MWCC, serving as secretary of the Veteran's and Allies Club, and serving as a mentor and role model to new veteran students on campus. Cassie has a 3.8 GPA and holds several leadership positions both on and off campus as well as being a mother of five. Recently, Cassie was chosen to represent the entire student body at the 3rd District Congressional Debate and was nominated as a Phi Theta Kappa All-Star. Cassie gives 100 % of herself in everything she does and we are honored she is a part of our community.
When I left the Marine Corps seventeen years ago, I struggled to find my place in the civilian world. I spent years trying to find my new normal. I felt alone and lost, completely out of place. I struggled with the VA and eventually gave up all hope in the system. I felt the system had failed me. In recent years, I have found so many veteran's struggling with similar issues, not feeling like they belong in the civilian world, not knowing how to adjust and find their "new normal". Realizing I was not alone in my struggles gave me a new sense of belonging and opened a new world for me. I found myself wanting to help others with similar issues, to help them transition more seamlessly than I had. I found the same flaws existed with the VA's system as they had almost two decades ago, but now, instead of avoiding the problems, I want to be a part of the solution. By becoming a military social worker, I feel I can help many veteran's live better lives. If I can help just one person, my efforts will have been worth it.