In 2006, Dan Peets graduated from college with a degree in radio broadcasting. He was living in California at the time and the Great Recession was just beginning to take hold. He realized that he’d have to do something else if he and his family were going to weather the storm. So, he started his own construction business. He survived, but just barely.
It was then that he decided to press the reset button.
Fast forward to present day. Peets is in his last semester of a two-year associate’s degree program with a specialization in engineering at Wytheville Community College. Next fall, he’ll be studying civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech.
Peets says his Valley Proteins fellowship is making it all possible.
“I’m not running around like crazy working at an 8-dollar-an-hour job, trying to pay for my tuition and books. It’s allowed me to really discipline myself and my studies.”
During a recent trip to the Virginia State Library with several other Valley Proteins (see photo above), Peets spoke fondly of his experience at WCC.
“I have loved my time there. I have found the faculty and staff to be incredibly helpful and personally interested in the students and that has meant the world to me as I have sort of re-invented myself.”
Among other things, being a Valley Protein requires performing 40 hours of community service each semester, something Peets says he relishes.
“My skill set appears to be more in the mentoring field, so I’m involved with local youth. I’m a volunteer math tutor at the local high school. I also assist with our church’s youth group program.”
When asked if he had a personal motto, Peets nodded in the affirmative.
“Excellence and sincerity. I’m interested in being a good friend and helping those around me. Those things are more important to me. But when I go to school, I am trying to keep the bar high. Personal excellence in what I do at school and in my personal life.”
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