February 20, 9:30 a.m.
710 West 13th Avenue, Escondido, CA
February Speaker is a Much-Awarded Navy Veteran
“I can’t tell you how frequently they think I’m there just to accompany my boyfriend,” says this month’s speaker, Nicole Heffel, a navy veteran, lawyer, and community activist. What she’s referring to is when she shows up at a community event honoring veterans, she, being a woman, is often overlooked. People inevitably shake only the hands of the men around her and thank only them for their service.
When Nicole was on active duty, from 2005 until 2010, she completed her undergraduate degree even when she was stationed overseas. (Sometimes she had to do her homework wearing night goggles.) While she continued her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, she founded a student veteran organization and also helped start a veterans self-help legal clinic.
Since she graduated, in 2013, she has given countless hours of pro bono legal services to her fellow veterans. She is the president of the Veterans Bar Association, in addition to founding her own law company, Heffel Law Firm, specializing in military law and estate planning, located in La Jolla.
During the spring of 2015, Nicole established Women Veterans Engaging the Nation and their landmark program “She’s Worth It.” She’s Worth It is the only program in the state of California, and possibly the nation, that serves women veterans within the justice system.
As young as she is, Nicole has received numerous awards and recognitions. Among them are the 2015 California State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award, the Department of Veterans Affairs Resiliency Award (2015), the Military Heroes Award by Channel 10 and Coleman University, and the Powerhouse Patriot Award, all prestigious honors.
Come share in the journey of this outstanding woman’s life in the military and beyond.