Supporting Fellow Veterans Guides Outstanding Graduate

Published: May 11, 2016

Supporting Fellow Veterans Guides Outstanding Graduate

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Graduating senior Christina Brooks learned to embrace the hard times as an Army Specialist. She brought the same persistence and grit to her studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

She is one of nearly 1,070 students graduating Saturday, May 14, at the American Bank Center.

Brooks, 27, joined the United States Army in 2008, serving as an Intelligence Collector. She was stationed in Germany for three years and Afghanistan for one. After returning home to the Austin area in 2012, Brooks came to the Island University to once again pursue her education.

“I tried college before I joined the military and it did not go well,” she said. “I needed to go do something and get some life experience before coming to college. After the military, having that experience, it made me take college seriously. I truly believe that my military service is what made me who I am today and has allowed me to succeed.”

Brooks is a member of multiple organizations on campus, including the Student Veterans Organization (SVO), of which she is currently President. She dedicated her first two years to her studies, but then rushed the sorority Gamma Phi Beta, joined Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology, and was inducted into the Golden Key Honour Society.

Last summer, Brooks helped write a $10,000 grant to the Student Veterans of America and the Home Depot Foundation that resulted in the establishment of the A&M-Corpus Christi Student Veteran Lounge in the University Center. The lounge provides a peaceful sanctuary for Islander veterans where they can study and socialize with each other.

Through the SVO, Brooks said she was able to recreate the comradery she had while in the military and has built a support network with her fellow veterans on campus.

“It’s nice to be able to sit with friends and people who understood me and just be able to talk about our experiences, both in and out of the military,” she said. “It’s moments like those that I’m going to miss after I graduate.”

She gives thanks to her fiancé, Josh, her 3-year-old daughter, Lillian, and her parents and grandmother who all supported her in the pursuit of her college education.

During her time at the Island University, Brooks has been on the Dean’s List five times and has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Brooks will receive her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Technical and Professional Writing. She is headed to graduate school at Sam Houston State University.

“My ultimate goal is to get a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology and then somehow give back to and work with veterans, whether it be through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or other organizations or even starting my own non-profit to help veterans who need counseling and mental health services,” she said.

Brooks’ advice to her fellow Islanders is to take college seriously and to make sure to talk to their professors every class.

“I don’t care what the conversation is about. I just want to make sure that the professor knows I’m there, I’m trying and that I care,” she said. “If they see you’re trying, they’re going to try to help you. But you have to take that first step to make an effort and care about your education.”