When Daniellia Marshall graduated from Whitney Young in 2011, she had already found her passion – and immediately started doing freelance graphic design to build her portfolio.

To help pay the bills, she worked a full-time job at emergency dispatch center. Not feeling totally fulfilled in her career, in 2018 she decided to pursue her degree full-time.

As a first-generation college student who was paying her own way, she looked for an affordable option close to home. She took classes at both Malcolm X College, near her Austin neighborhood home, and Harold Washington College. Ultimately, she became a full-time student at HWC as she pursued a degree in psychology. Her career goal is to combine her creative talents with her formal education to be an art therapist or creative director.

While at Harold Washington College, Dani put her skills to use as a social media and marketing intern as part of her work study. She helped with marketing projects and campaigns, made school promotional posters and materials, and produced social media design.

Also helping her get one step closer to her goals, Dani landed a paid internship with City Colleges partner and IT consulting firm SDI Presence in January of 2020. She had a busy semester as a full-time student and part-time creative design intern, but it paid off in May when she earned her Associate Degree in Psychology and a new title at work: creative director intern. On top of that, Dani was accepted to a range of four-year universities, including Howard University, the Milwaukee Institute of Design, the School of the Art Institute, and the University of Michigan.

Dani has decided to attend MIAD- Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, but because of the pandemic, will be starting January 2021. She’s also looking forward to continuing to work at SDI this summer.