Returning from battle is not easy for any veteran. In a short period of time, I was forced to go from 60 to 0; I went from training and deployment to taking tests and sitting in a classroom. For me, adjusting to the lack of a constant adrenaline rush was a struggle and one that I was determined to overcome. As I transitioned from active service to life as a student, I decided to embrace the transition and make the most of all the opportunities I could.

AT&T provided a scholarship that allowed me to move to DC without worrying about finding a loan – a commitment for which I am truly grateful.

These days, I am an accounting major who attends Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. When I first started, the transition was not easy, but I worked to pull-up my GPA to make myself more marketable to employers. My professors and advisors were instrumental in helping me get to where I am now. While all of their help was critical to my success, it was the exposure to The Washington Center they provided me that has really set me on the right course since returning to civilian life.

I first learned of The Washington Center when I attended a seminar they held at my school. I was looking for ways to get experience in and exposure to careers in which I was interested. As I worked to improve my academic standing, I applied to The Washington Center for priority placement and was ecstatic to later learn that I had been accepted into the program.

Since joining The Washington Center in Washington, D.C., I have been able to experience many exciting and eye-opening opportunities. I have met with my congressman and have networked with people who are in the kinds of careers I am looking to experience. I am learning exactly what it takes to enter the job market; the weekly programming helps me and my peers become better at marketing ourselves and interviewing with potential employers. It also helps us learn about new careers and industries. During my time at The Washington Center, I have been able to use the leadership skills I developed in the Army and apply them to next chapter of my life.

My hard work and dedication got me into The Washington Center, but I have to also thank those who helped me attend once I was accepted. AT&T provided a scholarship that allowed me to move to DC without worrying about finding a loan – a commitment for which I am truly grateful. Because of this, I have to say that AT&T has been there through this scholarship, helping me achieve the goals I set for myself when I entered civilian life. It means so much to know organizations like AT&T are here to help veterans who are returning home every day, searching to find their place as they transition into new careers.

As I continue to grow and learn, drawing upon my experiences as a member of the military, I am thankful for those who have been there, supporting me as I worked to chart my course. It’s good to know that the next generation of soldiers can look forward to this same support when they come home.

About the Author

Patrick Cavicchio

patrick_cavicchio

Patrick Cavicchio served in the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division until he was discharged off active duty in 2009 and medically retired as a Specialist in March 2011. A Bayville, New Jersey native, Patrick now attends Richard Stockton College where he is majoring in accounting. Patrick is a recipient of the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal and a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity.

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