NLU welcomed Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth to its Veterans Center on May 5. Duckworth, a Democrat representing Illinois’ 8th Congressional district, which includes the Schaumburg and Elk Grove Village area, met NLU Provost Alison Hilsabeck, Assistant Provost Ignacio Lopez, CPSA Dean Judah Viola, Library Dean Rob Morrison, student veteran Pablo Garcia and others.
Duckworth, who had been deployed to Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois National Guard and lost both her legs in a 2004 helicopter crash, had been invited by Rod Levy, executive director of Code Platoon, a non-profit organization which teaches veterans to code in order to prepare them for jobs as software developers. Code Platoon classes meet in classrooms at NLU’s Chicago campus.
Duckworth visited a classroom, listened to a presentation and offered the student veterans a number of resources and tips based on the fact she had served as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs in the late 2000s, and in 2009 was appointed by President Obama as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
In those positions, Duckworth led several initiatives, including a $5,000 tax credit to employers who hire veterans. At NLU, she urged the veterans to learn more about such initiatives.
Duckworth was elected to Congress in 2012, and is running for a U.S.Senate seat in November’s election. She also recently completed a Ph.D in Human Services at Capella University.