Meet Nikki Perez
Senior Social Work major and U.S. Veteran, Nikki Perez
Nikki Perez is the current President of the Student Veterans Association (SVA) at Texas Woman’s University and her path to becoming a Pioneer has been the embodiment of the new TWU motto to: “Boldly Go.” Majoring in Social Work, Nikki would like to use her education to work with female veterans in some manner, believing they are an under-served population.
A self-described gypsy, Nikki’s time in the Navy took her to Virginia, Florida, and California with a brief interlude in Norway and a stopover in Connecticut to stay with her mom when her husband at the time was deployed. She had her son, Brandon, when she was in the Navy and on Active Duty. With the father of her child already out to sea, the Navy couldn’t find a place for her that wasn’t susceptible to deployment. “I had an infant in my hands, I said I can’t do this, so I made the decision to get out.”
As a newly single mother Nikki and her son lived in Connecticut with her Mom and worked for a relocation company out of the home. Her mother’s employment at Dr. Pepper gave her an opportunity to move to Texas and Nikki and Brandon went along. Nikki continued to work from home and enrolled at Collin County College in 2014, transferring to TWU three semesters ago. “I love people too much to work from home,” Nikki said with a laugh.
Now a regular fixture at the Vet Center located in Jones Hall Nikki has a work study position working with fellow Veteran and SVA Secretary Chiara Gibson to plan fundraisers, events for veterans to get together and just being there to talk with fellow veterans about their needs to help them be successful at TWU. “I’m a talker,” Nikki said, “If you’re not a talker and you’re there to study, just let me know.” With two rooms in the Vet Center Nikki says there is a quiet place to study or a room to talk with one another. “I don’t think I would have done so well here at TWU if it wasn’t for the Vet Center,” Nikki added.
With her son now in college and her own graduation quickly coming up in May of 2018 Nikki is facing some new adventures on her continuing path. Change isn’t a new concept to Nikki and she’ll be ready to meet the world head on.
Nikki spoke about one of her inspirations, Major General Mary Saunders, saying, “I told [Gen. Saunders] she needed to write a book. The ceilings she’s shattered, she is very inspirational. She’s a finisher, a closer, and she makes things happen.”
Those same accolades apply to Nikki Perez—poised and ready to blaze a new path into her future.
Story by Rhonda Ross MA ’11
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Page last updated 12:53 PM, June 6, 2018