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QCC student finds community and more with Veteran Affairs Office

Contact: Karen Hutner
Office of Institutional Communications
khutner [at]

Release Date: 

WORCESTER, MA— January 30, 2024 — Taking the plunge into higher education after 50 years out of school may not be for the faint of heart, but for Quinsigamond Community College student and veteran Tom Vincent, the support of QCC’s Veteran Affairs department has made all the difference in his confidence and academic success.

“Before I was in school, I was depressed. But the staff and students in Veteran Affairs took me out of that depression and got me excited about school,” Vincent said. “The atmosphere in the Veterans Affairs Office is fantastic. We’ve all been through similar experiences, no matter which branch of the military we were in.”

After graduating high school in 1972, Vincent enlisted in the army during the Vietnam War. While his unit didn’t end up deploying to Vietnam, they spent years training, which Vincent described as life changing. When Vincent finished his service, he said it was an obvious choice to immediately start working because going to college wasn't an expectation for people in his family.

After decades of working in multiple industries, Vincent wanted to go back to school so he could pursue a career as a virtual bookkeeper. Due to limited physical mobility, he thought a remote bookkeeping job could allow him the flexibility he needs to work from home and take breaks as needed.

Vincent tried enrolling in college a few times before the fall of 2023 but often backed out. However, last September, he officially started classes at QCC. He ended up withdrawing from his courses because he didn’t feel ready to navigate some of the online aspects, but signed up again this spring and is determined to complete the classes this semester.

Since starting at QCC, the Veteran Affairs office has become a source of community as Vincent navigates higher education. After telling QCC’s Director of Veteran Affairs, Matthew Casaubon, that he was having issues walking to his classes, Casaubon obtained a scooter for Vincent to make it easier to navigate campus.

“No one has ever done anything like that for me before and I’m not used to accepting help. But the joy it gave me…I smiled so hard my cheeks hurt,” Vincent said when the scooter was delivered to him.

While Vincent said they even helped him find an agency to install new rain gutters on his house, it is the friendly people he talks to on campus that make him feel like part of a community.

According to Casaubon, the Veteran Affairs office has also provided food, clothing, laptops and other assistance to QCC’s veterans.

“We are building a community where veterans can feel they are valued and supported,” Casaubon said.

“I would never have come back to school if it wasn’t for the Veteran Affairs office,” Vincent added.


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Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.