Forging Her Path - A Conversation with Wounded Warrior Scholarship Graduate Sgt. Danielle Sevy
In 2008, Colorado Technical University, together with the non-profit Yellow Ribbon Fund, started the CTU Wounded Warrior Scholarship program. Today, CTU annually awards 50 scholarships – 25 to wounded service members and veterans, and 25 to spouses of wounded warriors – to help positively impact the lives of these extraordinary men and women through higher education.
Wounded on her second deployment to Iraq with the United States Army, Sergeant Danielle Sevy was in a dark place after a long recovery. After winning the CTU Wounded Warrior scholarship, she finally felt like her future offered a lot to look forward to. Danielle graduated in June 2012 with an associate degree in general studies with a concentration in Criminal Justice. We recently had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her experiences as a solider and student.
Tell us about your military service and situation.
I joined the Army after immigrating to the United States from Johannesburg, South Africa because I knew the military could help me reach my higher education goals. I put my education on hold after being deployed to Iraq in November 2007, during which I fell off a truck and landed on my head, which resulted in a few fractured bones. Shortly after the fall, I gradually noticed speech impairment, comprehension and memory difficulties as well as balance deficiency and severe migraines. Upon returning to the States, I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and since then have retired from the Army.
Why did you decide to apply for the CTU Wounded Warrior Scholarship?
While in the Warrior Transition Unit, I was in a very dark place after getting injured. The scholarship gave me hope that my life could go on in a more positive direction. As a wife and a mother of twin boys, I wanted to continue my education to help make a better life for them, and I knew a college degree would help make me more marketable for potential job opportunities.
What was most helpful about your CTU education and experience?
CTU offered me the support network I needed to become a successful student while also recovering from my injuries. My professors were very understanding of my situation, and – looking back – they helped me realize that I could start a new path in life.
What degree did you earn and when?
I graduated on June 15, 2012, with an associate degree in general studies with a concentration in criminal justice. I chose this area of study because I would like to become a criminal psychologist one day.
What are your plans now that you’ve earned your degree?
My ultimate dream is to continue my education with CTU and receive a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with the hope of eventually becoming a criminal psychologist. This degree will ultimately enable me to help support my family (which include my husband and our twin boys) and to pursue a line of work that interests me.
What advice or guidance would you give others in a similar situation who may want to pursue higher education?
If I were to give advice to someone in a similar situation, I would encourage them to pursue their higher education dreams, especially via the CTU Wounded Warrior Scholarship program. I would also tell them to make that step and to go for their dreams because if I can do it, anyone can do it.
Image credit: Flickr/Kasia
Image credit: Danielle Sevy
Danielle Sevy, Sergeant, United States Army, Retired, is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. She is currently living in Colorado Springs with her husband and twin boys and is based at Fort Carson, Colo. Learn more about Danielle’s experience by watching her story.