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Danielle R. Hansen

​Sonoma State University
Chancellor Emeritus Charles B. Reed Scholar

Danielle R. Hansen

I love helping people. I love being the person to light their flame.

​​Danielle R. Hansen, a former foster youth, is well aware of the statistics indicating that only 20 percent of foster youth attend college and only two percent graduate. Danielle spent her adolescent years watching as her drug addicted parents continuously struggled with incarceration. Hunger and neglect were common for Danielle, and she was placed in permanent foster care at the age of eight. Separated from her younger brother, Danielle used their short visits to comfort him and give him hope.

Now at Sonoma State University, Danielle is on pace to graduate with bachelor's degrees in communications and statistics. At Sonoma State University, Danielle helped develop and grow the Seawolf Scholars program that helps former foster youth navigate college and explore their newfound independence. Danielle hopes to use her experience and education to become an inspirational speaker and statistician and is already analyzing foster youth data to gain a better understanding of how these college support programs assist foster youth in accomplishing their educational goals.