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Graduate Spotlight: Heather Ashbeck

Posted on May 14, 2018

By Holly Walker

“Before I started at JTCC, I had no idea what I wanted to do and had very little confidence that I could start all over after spending so much time in the military. JTCC helped me discover my passion for helping others and gain the confidence I needed to move forward with a new career.” – Heather Ashbeck


A desire to make sure victims become empowered survivors drives Heather Ashbeck. Her goal: become a licensed social worker and a counselor for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. “I was a victim of domestic violence,” she says. “I want to be able to help others who have experienced or who are experiencing the same thing.” 

After spending 18-years in the U.S. Air Force, Heather, a mother of three, said the idea of returning to school made her nervous. She decided to take classes at John Tyler Community College because she liked the college’s small class sizes, its variety of majors, and its transfer options. The Midlothian resident initially began in the Business Administration program, but thanks to a course in sociology, she discovered her true calling – Tyler’s degree in Human Services, Pre-Social Work Specialization. Soon after switching majors, Heather immersed herself in student life, becoming active in a number of clubs, an intern in the college’s Military and Veterans Education Office, and a worker in the Student Activities Office. 

Next up for Heather? Virginia Commonwealth University. Once there, she plans to continue her education in social work. 

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