It’s a place where you know you’re welcome and the faculty and staff want you to succeed.
When Danielle Visone was just 10 years old, the world, as she knew it, fell apart. And it also began to build back up again.
Danielle lost her father to cancer. While he was in hospice, she visited a therapist and, after he passed, she went to a grief center. That’s when she learned what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. By the time she came to FGCU she knew she wanted to build her own grief center for children who had lost a parent.
Danielle holds the unique distinction of being the only FGCU student to win the university’s Excellence in Civic Engagement Award twice. It was this dedication to service that called her to volunteer at Rainbow Trails, a local hospice, as a graduate student. While there, she met Angela Melvin. Angela told her about how she’d lost her mother at a young age and wanted to build a grief center. And she asked Danielle if she wanted to help.
Today, Valerie’s House, the organization Angela named for her mother and Danielle helped build, is thriving. Danielle uses her skills in social work as a program director at the facility not far from campus. And her former professors are available when needed. As Danielle says,
“You get to know people at Marieb College. And because they know me, they know Valerie’s House and its mission. The relationship and support I receive from FGCU is ongoing.”
The dedication to service Danielle fostered at FGCU led to the fulfillment of her dream. Looking ahead, she still wants to build her own grief center for children. And now that she’s seen everything it takes to build one, she’s confident that everything she envisioned at the age of 10 will come to pass.