Danielle Caswell

Despite tragedy and a turbulent home life, Danielle Caswell pulled herself up by her bootstraps in order to reach her goals of academic success.

The only child of a single mother, Danielle spent her days with a verbally abusive babysitter while her own mother worked nights. While she excelled academically, Danielle had trouble making friends. In the seventh grade however, she met a boy who became her boyfriend, but soon became her best friend. Her mother eventually married his father, making the two step-siblings. They also welcomed a new baby brother together, and the new family was growing.

The new family was suddenly struck by tragedy when Danielle’s stepbrother and stepsister were murdered by their own mother, who also took her own life.

The loss of her stepbrother weighed heavily on Danielle in the months that followed. She finally decided good things were not going to happen if she simply waited for them to happen. Danielle began setting goals for herself and worked hard to achieve them.

Even though her mother and stepfather welcomed a second child, Danielle’s life at home was still difficult. At 16, she got her first job, but struggled with depression. Danielle began seeing a therapist to cope with the loss of her step-siblings. Though she suffered a serious illness during her sophomore year, Danielle excelled academically. During her junior year Danielle received the Beta underclassman award. Enduring illness again her senior year, Danielle was able to maintain a 3.6 GPA and volunteer for Beta Club projects. She was also involved in her high school’s FCCLA.

Danielle currently attends Maryville College.