By Deborah C. Gerbers
High school senior Danielle Smith is driven to succeed. The aspiring veterinarian recently helped obtain a grant to restore her school’s greenhouse and has big plans for her own future.
From a very young age, Danielle loved animals and wanted to be a veterinarian. “According to my parents, I have always wanted to be a veterinarian; even before kindergarten I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian,” she recalls. “Since I am a senior in high school, I am closer to achieving this goal. I applied to Purdue West Lafayette and plan to study animal sciences. Currently, I am working on my associate degree in general studies from Ivy Tech that is focused on business so that I can hopefully run my own clinic someday.”
Danielle recently saw an opportunity to give back and do something meaningful for her school and future students by writing a grant to fund the restoration of her school’s greenhouse.
“I had seen the greenhouse a couple of times before and cleaned it up the first time,” she said. “I thought that it was something that should have been done a long time ago but wasn’t. To me it was wasteful to have something there and not use it, but with all the stuff that didn’t work, we needed money to restore it. That was when I looked into grants with the assistance of the school to help restore the greenhouse. Thankfully, I managed to get a grant so that we can finally have the greenhouse up and running again.
Fort Wayne has always been home for Danielle, surrounded by friends and family. After college she plans to stay in town to further her career. “I want to own and operate a vet clinic in Fort Wayne in the future,” she says.
When she’s not studying, Danielle spends her free time with various hobbies and exploring other interests. One of her obvious pastimes is gardening and spending time in the greenhouse. “I also do Mixed Martial Arts, Animal Care and Control Teens (working with animals), art, cooking and baking.”