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Student Spotlight: Daniel Duffy ’22 motivated to reach his goals

Daniel Duffy and his niece
Daniel Duffy and his niece

When Daniel Duffy graduates from the College of Professional Studies this upcoming May, he’ll be doing so after an inspired bout of determination. The Newtown Square, PA native will be finishing his bachelor’s degree in the Organizational Development and Management (ODM) program just three years after beginning his coursework.

Duffy graduated high school in 2016 but did not immediately pursue higher education. Daniel didn’t think college was right for him and instead made some life decisions he now regrets.

“I had to find myself,” he said.  “Once I got myself together, coming to college, I learned I can be a good student. I was motivated to learn. I found everything interesting and stimulating.”

With his degree now in sight, he is able to reflect on the change he has seen in himself, from a disinterested high school student to a high achieving member of his classes in CPS.

“Graduating is a major milestone because I never saw myself going to school. It wasn’t in my plans. But since coming back to school, I’ve grinded to get my degree in just three years.”

Earning a degree that quickly was never easy, yet doing so mostly online during a global pandemic certainly made the task more challenging.

“It’s been stressful, but it’s been a journey and a new experience.”

While dealing with the stresses of being an adult college student, Duffy is lucky to have family who can relate to his schoolwork. Both of Daniel’s parents are also CPS students. The Duffy family has even taken classes together while living under the same roof.

“I actually go to school with my mom and my dad. It can be super weird, but it has brought us together. We all have the same thing in our lives and has brought us closer.”

All three members of the Duffy family plan on walking in Commencement together as members of the Class of 2022 in May.

Daniel Duffy and his girlfriend

When Daniel is seeking help beyond what his fellow students can relate to, he has been in tune with the CPS advisors and the resources they have available to students.

“(The advising team) makes sure I’m thriving and doing what I’m capable of doing,” he explained. “They have been an extremely big help. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”

Daniel’s newfound interest in his education has been driven in part by finding classes that appeal to him. Working with his advisor, Daniel will have two minors on top of his ODM major, in Communication and Psychology, two subjects that he found intriguing.

“My main interest is the classes for my Psychology minor. It’s interesting to learn how our brains work.”

After graduation, Duffy is unsure what comes next in his life. He’s hopeful that in the long term, he’s able to use his ODM degree to do something entrepreneurial.

“One day, I would like to open my own business,” he said. “That’s something I’ve considered.”

Until then, Duffy is focused on finishing his courses this spring to earn his degree and walk at Commencement in May. He knows that in the three years he’s been with CPS he has grown in many ways that will help him after earning his degree.

“Before (I came to CPS), my motivations were towards things that weren’t helpful in life. Now I’m driving towards this goal.”