ACC Computer Science student Valerie Calderon-Meyer will drive more than 1,800 miles to begin her next journey.

“I am making the three-day drive up to Connecticut with my cat this upcoming August and beginning my first semester at Yale! It feels bittersweet. I grew up in Texas and saw myself doing my undergrad in-state, but after matriculating into Yale, I realize I’ll get to meet like-minded people and explore the countless amenities the campus has to offer on top of a world-class education.”

Valerie began at ACC in spring 2022 after finishing her military service in the Navy. After completing a year of courses at ACC, she decided to transfer.

“ACC was the first college I ever attended as a full-time student. I had to learn to navigate civilian life as an adult while balancing a full course load. It was exciting to dive into something new every semester.”

When she began her journey at ACC, Valerie planned to transfer to an in-state institution. 

“Two weeks before the application deadline, a friend of mine encouraged me to apply to any out-of-state institution I was interested in. It felt impulsive to be applying to Yale. I realized that my experience as a Navy veteran gave me a unique life perspective. The ACC Transfer Service team helped me every step of the way, submitting documents and drafting my academic resume and three essays.”

The ACC Transfer Services team supported Valerie throughout her academic journey. She also credits the support systems ingrained at the college with helping her reach this goal. 

“I was pleasantly surprised at the abundance of resources ACC invests in its students. From the multitude of workshops, food drives, and services like the Learning Lab, where students can walk in and work with a tutor. The Veterans Resource Center also ensures student veterans know their benefits and are supported by their team.”

An added bonus for Valerie of staying so involved in the resources is the perks of attending events on ACC campuses.

“I could list a lot of great things about this school, but I will shamelessly confess that my favorite part of ACC was eating the food provided at seminars, workshops, boot camps, and student events. It was always delicious and arguably a major reason I attended so many events and was well-prepared for transfer.”

Valerie felt prepared for her next steps thanks to attending all these events. They helped set her up with the transfer knowledge and support to be accepted to an Ivy League school. The advice she wants future Riverbats to know: 

“Do not sell yourself short. Maintain a running brag sheet of your accomplishments and your impact on your community. It’ll make the application process just a little bit easier. For my fellow veterans and active-duty students — your experience has given you a perspective that allows you to solve problems in abstract ways. Expanding on this greatly impacts communities and improves them in many applications.”

For more information on the Computer Science program, visit

To get support in your transfer process, visit