Scholarship Presentation

Posted: 25th April 2013 by in Journal

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Tonight, I was awarded a scholarship so I could go back to school to get my Masters of Business Administration! Such a fun, rewarding night!

Right before the evening the hosts asked if I would say a few words to explaining my situation and what this scholarship means. My favorite part is they asked if Taylor would introduce me. While I was quickly writting up a speech for the evening, Taylor was relaxing and distracting me. I told him just because he had the easy job doesn’t mean some of us have stuff to prepare. He tried to argue with me that his job wasn’t easy but that he was a natural. I explained to him that as long as he remembers my name his job was complete… haha

Here is what I ended up going with my speech….

A big thank you to Taylor, for that gracious introduction. And a HUGE thank you to the Yellow Ribbon Fund, The Blewitt Foundation and UMUC for teaming up to offer such a great opportunity for caregivers to go back to school, bettering themselves and their families… not to mention to give everyone here tonight an excuse to dress up and enjoy the evening together.

Let me tell you a little about my story… I was born and raised in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The same place I met Taylor. We went to high school together and have been dating since our junior year. Following high school I went to the University of Iowa while Taylor joined the United States Navy. We knew we had something special so we didn’t think twice about trying the long distance thing. We told each other that we would try to visit once a month but it turned out being closer to every 6 weeks or every 2 months if we were lucky but we made it! After four years of college I graduated with a bachelors degree of Business Management and a minor in Entrepreneurship from the University of Iowa. Two days after walking across my college graduation stage, Taylor and I packed the car with everything I owned and my bicycle on the back; it was a sight to see as you drove down the interstate. There was not an empty crevice; we even had to use the space to between Taylor and myself to store more of my “essentials”. We drove across the country to Virginia Beach where he was stationed. I lived in Virginia Beach from 2 days post-graduation until the day Taylor was set to deploy. During his deployment I headed back to Iowa to be around family and friends; I was a recent aunt and hated missing out on all the little things. During Taylor’s deployment and my time back home, I went back to school to get my real estate license then went on to work for Century 21. On my way to work one Thursday morning, I got the call of Taylor’s injuries. Life stopped as I knew it. I immediately turned the car around and headed to my house to pack a bag, I wanted to be by Taylor’s side the first second I was able to. Considering I was in complete shock, it makes sense that my “go bag” consisted of: a stocking hat, swim suit, sweat shirt, a pair of socks, and a pair of shorts…It was May and it was not the most efficient packing. I waited at my parent’s house for 3 days while Taylor was beginning transported from one hospital to another overseas. As soon as the wheels of his plane from Germany took off, I was on a plane heading to Walter Reed. I have been with Taylor ever since… Through every victory as a tube was taken out of his body, every IV that was dismissed from the tree of IV bags. We were together for the first time he was able to get out of bed or go outside, the first time he was able to stand, walk, run, swim, kayak, snowboard, bike… (He’s come a long way and we are eternally thankful) We were also together for all the setbacks and frustrating moments; wounds not healing, extra surgeries, the pain, figuring out how to accomplish tasks that used to seem so minuet, simply figuring out a new way of life–a difficult task for two fun loving 23 year olds who had a different vision of the rest of their lives– we were together every step of the way. We always knew we made a good team but throughout everything this past year that good team mentality has been put through almost every test known to man and we are still STANDING tall. We are still striving to accomplish our goals while continuing to make new goals along the way and we don’t plane on stopping anytime soon. Taylor’s injuries although may have been severe but will not define what we can do. I accredit Taylor and my hard work and drive to our Midwest roots; our strong support system, and most importantly our amazing parents that shaped us into the people that stand before you today. In addition to that strong foundation, we know we wouldn’t be were we are today without the doctors, the therapist, the prosthesis, or the amazing organizations that have provided us both with some of the most incredible opportunities. One of the being the Yellow Ribbon Fund. I cannot thank you enough for joining forces with UMUC in order to offer two other ladies and myself this incredible opportunity. I am eager to get back to school and earn my MBA. Thank you again for all involved for making this possible.



  1. Jenn Moynihan says:

    As usual Danielle, and Taylor, you two are OUTSTANDING and never cease to make me proud as if you were my own “kids”. 🙂 I volunteer with USO New England and I’m sure you’ve seen posts on your page, as well as Josh, Eric, and some others, from me.

    Congratulations Danielle – with all my heart. I hope that if you two are in the Boston area you give us a call at the USO if you need anything.

    Many blessings for a full life –

  2. Jutta says:

    Danielle you more than deserve this scholarship.

  3. Wilma Paup says:

    Congratulations Danielle. You and Taylor have been an inspiration to all and you deserve
    to be rewarded for your unselfish support. Good luck and Godspeed.

  4. Bruce Braley says:

    Congratulations, Danielle! I’m very happy for you and proud of you.

  5. So happy for you, well deserved! Following you & Taylor is pa t of my daily routine, your fortitude is inspiring. Love from CF & Naz, Marlene Schmidt

  6. Sharon Weinberg says:

    WONDERFUL!!! Pillar of Strength…..yes that describes you and Taylor. Well deserved!!!
    May God Bless you both today and always.

  7. Terri McNeal says:

    Danielle, Congratulations your scholarship! You so deserve it girl!! I didn’t know your story until now..I’d just picked up on what a wonderful supportive girlfriend you are. YOU ARE AN ANGEL ON EARTH. Congratulations!!!

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