Penn State Class of 2017 graduate Danielle Joliet appeared on Good Morning America to discuss her story of going back to school as a mother of two after serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army.
Joliet, 34, dropped out of high school at 17 to join the military and escape a troubled youth. She spoke with Robin Roberts on the show Wednesday morning.
Joliet struggled with substance abuse until the birth of her son, Randy, when she was 18. “I knew when I would look at him that I had to do better,” Joliet said
She served in the Army until 2008, when she sustained an injury while deployed in Baghdad that ended her career with the military. After marrying fellow soldier Brendan and welcoming her second son, Patrick, in 2011, she returned to school to set an example for her two children.
Along the way, she found her passion in a new field — graduating with a degree in rehabilitation and human services to continue to help others, including her fellow veterans.
Joliet finished top of her class and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Penn State honored her with its annual Most Outstanding Adult Student award for 2017. She begins grad school next week and also took a job with Penn State Collegiate Recovery Community