Danielle Keppers exemplifies persistence paying off. Keppers’s focus on education continues to allow her to choose her career and build a strong future. Keppers graduated Mayland Community College with her high school equivalency diploma then continued her education, graduating with honors from MCC’s Business Administration Program in 2015.
After earning her GED from MCC Keppers returned to the college to see what doors of opportunity were available. She was interested in the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) and Criminal Justice but hesitated because everyone told her she was ‘too nice.’ She followed a more comfortable path and chose Business Administration to improve her knowledge as an entrepreneur as a self-employed animal trainer and groomer. She also worked in the automotive industry. After graduating with honors in the Business Administration Program, Keppers experienced moving up within the auto industry and let her personal business goals start to slip away.
“This realization combined with the confidence I gained while attending MCC, I knew I needed to make a change,” said Keppers. “I needed to stop sitting on my hands, wishing I had done things differently, take action, and start doing something about it. That’s when I took a leap of faith and put an application in with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety to become an officer.”
After being hired as an officer, Keppers returned to her initial interest and graduated BLET with not only honor scores, but at the top of her class.
“I didn’t know where this adventure would take me, but I knew it was my biggest dream and my ultimate goal was to work with the State Bureau of Investigation, the Forestry Service, or as a State Trooper,” said Keppers. “Reaching for this dream has been the best choice I have ever made for myself and my career. I fell in love with everything about this line of work, the career, the close nit work family/friends, the fitness, but most of all, the feeling of making a difference, no matter how small that difference may be. I have yet to reach all my goals and I plan on putting my applications in this fall to continue this adventure in law enforcement. It’s not just a career, but a lifestyle and a passion.”
Attending college came with its own challenges for Keppers including the death of a close in-law/friend, a divorce after 12 years of marriage, the death of her youngest son, and then caring for a newborn with special needs who had severe brain damage and seizures.
“I learned that the more that was set on my plate, the more efficient, the harder I pushed and the stronger I became,” said Keppers. “I knew that nothing would hold me back from setting a good example for my children and pushing through the hard times, while I earned my degree and built a life for my family.”
Keppers is now a proud single mother of not only her two sons, but also of the baby girl she adopted who God blessed in overcoming her severe brain damage and no longer suffers from seizures. She is also the legal guardian of her younger sister, and her children and herself sponsor a young boy overseas through Compassion International who shares the same birthday as the boy the family lost.
“I learned so much while attending MCC, not just about operating my business but about myself as well,” said Keppers. “The instructors were knowledgeable and supportive. They helped build confidence in me which I had a huge impact in instilling a drive for me to go after my dreams that felt were once out of my reach. I believe we should wake up every morning knowing that life is a gift. We all have something extraordinary and special within our self that we are meant to use. It took a lot of hard work but I know without a doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for MCC and I will forever be grateful.”
Registration for the fall curriculum semester is open. Classes begin on August 15. Information on the fall schedule, programs offered at MCC, and about earning a high school equivalency diploma can found at www.mayland.edu.