2013 Tillman Scholar
The events that transpired on September 11, 2001, greatly affected April’s life. After the attacks on New York City, the Pentagon, and Flight 93, she chose to trade in acceptance to a state university for a pair of combat boots and a flak jacket. The only way to explain the decision to join the military was that she had an overwhelming desire to help her country.
After returning from Iraq as part of OIF, April struggled to navigate life as a civilian. She felt like no one understood what she had experienced and ultimately felt like an outcast among family and friends. Numerous military friends also struggled with reintegration; a couple decided to end their lives. The loss of friends in combat was somewhat expected but losing friends to suicide had a profound effect on her, and she made the decision to become a psychologist to help returning service members and veterans.
April is passionate about her chosen career as a psychologist and enjoys being a leader in this community. She plans to become a board-certified neuropsychologist and work within the VA healthcare system, as well as return to service as a military psychologist within the Army National Guard. Additionally, April plans on contributing her clinical expertise and research to military policies related to suicide prevention. To help prepare for this endeavor, she has served in various leadership and advocacy roles at the state and national level. These experiences will serve as a strong foundation to guide her path as a future clinician and leader within the psychology community.