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Featured Student Already Worldly Humanitarian

Danielle Adamowski, of Aurora, is Waubonsee's Featured Student

Danielle Adamowski’s young life has already taken her around the world in pursuit of her desire to help others.

Her humanitarian pursuits have led her to work with orphans in Haiti, reconstruct a solar efficient home for public viewing, build an afterschool program in a remote and poor town, prep a forest floor to prevent forest fires, teach kids how to garden and institute a school-wide walking program and build a running trail in Arizona.

David Brooks, New York Times columnist, once wrote that there are two kinds of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Adamowski is committed to the eulogy virtues, and so it is fitting that her time at Waubonsee began in a Peace Studies class.

For her insatiable desire to make the world a better place, and her demonstrated commitment to that goal, Adamowski is recognized as Waubonsee Community Colleges Student Success: Featured Student.

Adamowski, of Aurora, said her humanitarian mission began reluctantly, when – during her sophomore year in high school - a friend invited her to volunteer in Haiti. Adamowski lied and told the friend that her mother would not let her go. The friend called Adamowski’s mother, who agreed that her daughter should go.

“My mom is always pushing me to go out and explore and experience new things,” she said, admitting that her mother was right about the trip to Haiti. She spent her time there volunteering in orphanages, and the experience was life changing.

“It was the first time in my life where I saw the direct impact I had on a person that I was helping out,” she said. “I’d volunteered before, but it was always more at a distance, like collecting food for a shelter.”

The next year, Adamowski returned to Haiti, this time with her mother and sister. And she began looking into the National Civilian Community Corps. Excited to start, she graduated from West Aurora High School early and enrolled in a Peace Studies course taught by Ellen Lindeen at Waubonsee Community College.

An anthropology major, Adamowski plans on completing her studies in spring 2017, and then continue her humanitarian work, possibly by returning to agencies she’s volunteered with in the past.

“I am really hoping to spend my life traveling and helping,” she said. “Some of the courses and teachers I have had here at Waubonsee have really opened my eyes to the world.”