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QCC’s Frontline Workers – Making a Difference in Our Communities

July, 2020
  • QCC & Phi Theta Kappa New Graduate David P. Lauzon Jr.
    QCC & Phi Theta Kappa New Graduate David P. Lauzon Jr.

QCC & PHi Theta Kappa Alumnus David P. Lauzon Jr- Recovery Support Specialist

Often true heroes are the people who quietly work behind the scenes helping others. They do this without fanfare and without accolades. The pandemic has brought a spotlight on these people in our community, many of whom are QCC students and alumni. Each month the Wyvern Guardian will be spotlighting one of these remarkable people who chose QCC to assist them on their quest for a better future, and in the process, help us all have a better life.

David P. Lauzon Jr. is a new QCC and Phi Theta Kappa alumnus. He is also a retired veteran. This past May, amid the pandemic, he graduated with both a certificate and associate degree in Human Services, achieving close to a perfect GPA (3.9).  Within two weeks of graduating, he was offered a position with Recovery Centers of America as a Recovery Support Specialist, providing care for individuals recovering from substance abuse issues. 

“I love what I do because it’s helping those who need the help and most of all, want it.  I am a retired disabled veteran.  I had people who were there for me when I got back from Iraq and active duty Army, so this is much more than a job, it’s a way to pay it forward,” he said. “I also have a part-time job working as a Veterans’ Services Officer for the town of West Boylston.  I have been doing this job for two plus years now.”

However, things were not always easy for Mr. Lauzon, as a retired veteran who suffered from PTSD. Initially he began at QCC majoring in engineering and helping out in the Veterans Affairs office.

“The problem I was not dealing with was my case of PTSD,” he said, eventually leaving school for a while, until learning he still had educational benefits he could still use.

He decided to go back to QCC and this time changed his major to human services.

“I realized I was working in the human services field the whole time.  I realized that this is a better fit for me than the engineering I was trying to get into before.  I feel like this has come to me naturally,” he said. “This time around at the college, I was a work study in the Veterans Affairs office.  It was truly a blessing.  I could go there and socialize with fellow veterans and be there for those who needed my assistance.”

Today he is using what he learned at QCC to help those in the field of recovery, while adapting to the new safety protocols brought on by the pandemic.

“I do a lot of meeting with people via Zoom or other viral media sources.  I do meet with some veterans at times, but always with the proper personal protection equipment (PPE).  With the recovery work, I am wearing PPE all day long, sometimes I feel like I am back in the Army wearing my PPE,” he said.

Mr. Lauzon said he is grateful for the educational foundation and support he received from QCC, which enabled him to do what he does best, helping people.

“QCC has given me every chance to be successful in school and now as an alumni.  For the experience and the support, this is the best choice to make...  QCC has the best support services and cares for their students. The whole QCC experience has been a great experience and a very special one.” 

Make sure to read next month’s installment of “QCC’s Frontline Workers – Making a Difference in Our Communities.

If you know of a QCC frontline worker who should be spotlighted, let us know and email Karen Hutner at khutner [at] qcc.mass.edu.               

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