Chico State student overcomes odds

May 14, 2014 12:26 AM

The class of 2014 is getting ready to put on their caps and gowns this weekend. Many have worked hard to get to where they are today but some have overcome the odds to get to the monumental moment. Dani Anguiano went through many struggles as a teenager but her determination helped her to become the leader that she is today. "We were living in Sacramento in the middle of winter with no power and then about a few months into that, my older brother passed away of a drug overdose which really worsened my parents situation. They were already fighting criminal charges and then to have to deal with this tremendous loss was really challenging," she said.

To deal with the loss, her parents dug deeper into their addictions and ended up in jail while Dani turned to drinking. "It kind of just felt like my whole world was sort of falling apart. To have my older brother, my best friend, pass away and then to just deal with everything crumbling around me was really, really challenging."

Luckily for Dani, her aunt in Chico took her in and helped guide her in the right direction. "My aunt really took me in without a thought. It was just like 'she needed someone. Well, we're her family. We’re here for her.’"

Dani enrolled at Chico State and became involved on campus including The Orion newspaper and the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center. "Those two experiences really instilled in me a confidence in myself and that I was capable of trying these new things that I didn't necessarily have experience in."

Dani's father attended Chico State in the 80s but didn't finish for health reasons. Inspired by his daughter, he enrolled again to finish his degree. "After he was released from jail and he got to see where I was at, he became really inspired to finish what he started and achieve a dream that he wanted to accomplish for so long," she said.

When her father told her they'd be graduating at the same time, Dani was ecstatic. "I obviously was over the moon. I just think it's such an accomplishment. It really demonstrates where we're both at in our lives." Dani wanted others to know that no matter what the circumstances they can achieve their dreams. "They can be so much more than what they've come from. They can be whatever they want to be."

Dani will be attended graduate school at Northwestern school of journalism. She says she hopes to one day become a university level teacher.


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