LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - The dream of going to college is now coming true for Central High senior, Danessa Brocks.
Brocks is this year's recipient of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse's "Youth of the Year" award. This gives her a full-ride scholarship to Viterbo University, all thanks to a new partnership started this year.
Brocks' peers describe her as many things, a leader, passionate, but most importantly, strong. What started out as a rocky childhood quickly turned into something special.
"I started on a rocky path, but with the help of the BGC and the kids and everyone who I've worked with helped me see that there is a light, and there is a positive thing that comes out of a bad time," said Brocks.
Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse, Jake Erickson, says he has watched Brocks grow up into an inspirational figure. "A lot of young kids have struggles growing up, and this is an example of a young person who's persevered and met every challenge head-on and is really making us proud at the Boys & Girls Club," said Erickson.
Bad times turned good, and good times turned into a full ride scholarship to Viterbo University.
"See, I never expected this. I thought a full ride would be for athletes, and I never thought that my hard work would be noticed," said Brocks.
Danessa Brocks has been coming to the club since she was six years old. The hope is that the scholarship will continue to lead her to her passion, helping others.
"I want to pursue a degree in social work because all of the people who've pushed me and helped me become a better person, I want to be that person for another person," said Brocks. "I know how good it feels and how appreciative I would feel if I helped another person."
Brocks is a young role-model that can give people a great reminder and positive outlook on life.
"Don't ever feel like there's not away, and don't ever give up. Your time will come and people will definitely see it in due time," said Brocks.
Another exciting element is that Brocks will now go to Madison to compete with roughly 25 other "Youth of the Year" recipients across the state. This will give her the opportunity to earn more scholarships and grants, on top of her full ride to Viterbo.
If successful, Brocks could move on to compete at the national level. We wish her the best of luck!