Seeing her newborn daughter was just the motivation Danielle Miles needed to get her life on track. Living on her own since she was 15, Danielle was on her way to nowhere fast. “I knew as soon as I had my daughter that the only way to give her the life that I wanted for her was to get an education.”
Danielle’s decision not only to pursue an education but to set high standards for herself is paying off this week. She will deliver the spring 2011 commencement address to her fellow graduates when they receive their degrees Friday, May 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Worth Convention Center.
Her speech has multiple purposes. “I want to inspire students to plan to go on and not just stop with their associates (degree),” Danielle said. “I want to motivate those who may have lost their motivation and (anyone who has) given up on their dreams that you always have a chance to go back and make it happen.”
Danielle should know. Overcoming personal challenges, she quickly made up for the time she lost when she dropped out of high school. Danielle has had a spotless academic record while being involved in numerous college organizations. These include Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Delta Delta Vice President of Leadership, Recruitment head, and Induction Committee Head; Cornerstone Honors Program President, Vice President and Service and Learning Committee Head; and W.J. Turner Elementary School Book Drive Collector and W.J. Turner Elementary School Literacy Walk organizer and participant.
As a result of her success at the Texas Undergraduate Moot Court Association at Southern Methodist University, Danielle has been actively recruited by the University of North Texas coach to join their team next year. Not only has she been accepted to UNT Honors College to complete double degrees in finance and economics, but she has earned several scholarships including the Outstanding Achievement Award and a transfer award. “I want students to know that if they work hard, their education will pay for itself, even before graduating.”
Danielle already knows how she wants to help others once she completes her studies at a four-year institution. “I want to work for a non-profit and help them take the resources they receive and distribute them so they can make the biggest impact,” said Danielle, describing her long term goals.