Spend 10 minutes with Stormy Dancil and you will be amazed by what she has overcome and her outlook on life. She is as resilient and inspirational a person as you will ever meet. Dancil is a 35-year-old full-time student majoring in Nursing and Liberal Arts & Sciences. In October she was inducted into international honor society Phi Theta Kappa, a designation she achieved after recording a perfect 4.0 GPA in the spring 2015 semester. Her road to OCC has been a long and somewhat unbelievable journey. Through it all she has refused to identify herself as a victim.
- At age 15 she became an emancipated minor. “In the culture I came from it was unacceptable to have dark skin. I was abandoned for looking ‘too black.'”
- She spent her childhood living in 15 different states with different family members. “I think there was a blessing in that. I got to be around different types of individuals from different types of backgrounds. I was able to learn and adjust it to my surroundings and apply it to my everyday life.”
- Married young and had four children. Domestic violence led to the end of the marriage.
- Suffered a brain aneurysm and needed two years to recover from it.
- During her first semester at OCC the home she was living in was destroyed by a fire. During that same semester Dancil learned one of her children had a life-threatening illness.
Dancil freely speaks about the challenges she’s faced and loves to share her wisdom with whomever will listen.
- “In life there are obstacles and fences. The ability to deal with then and still create something positive is not an easy task.”
- “So many people encounter things and they give up. I want to show them that I constantly fought and I never gave up.”
- “Education is more than just opening a book. I feel it’s learning from the thoughts, beliefs and morale systems that people institute within these books and being able to apply it to yourself.”
- “It’s not what people call you that matters it’s what you answer to. I will not answer to anything less than what I deserve.”
- Failure gives me the strength to pursue things again from a different angle.”
- “The things I’ve experienced have helped me become the person I am today.
- “It doesn’t matter how many times I fall. What matters is how many times I get back up and keep pursuing my dreams.”
There were 17 years between the time when Dancil graduated from Jamesville-Dewitt High School and started taking classes at OCC. She’s proud to be a non-traditional student and hopes others will do the same. “No matter how late in life you have your college experience you can always work to develop into the person you truly are.”