World traveler, dreamer, philanthropic, wanderlust, and warm-hearted are just a few words to describe our inspirational #WCW. Currently pursuing her passion of helping children, Danielle Kurlander, expresses how the best medicine in life is to simply share and give love. Danielle continually spreads generosity with her contagious spirit, ultimately, leaving others inspired by her positivity and beautiful heart.
1. What's your story? What makes you unique?
**The sheer power of positivity is infectious; it will fill your heart and your soul.** For me, it radiates a fire that is truly unique. I aim to take on the impossible, to help the heartbroken, and uplift those who have never soared.
2. What motivates you?
I’m motivated simply by the people who I have met. Often, it is easy to forget your path and why you’re passionate when times fall hard, but when you find that person or that memory of a time where you felt your best, you become invincible. Always make your strides positive, therefore, you will never lose the motivation to be your best.
3. Who is a hero of yours?
I met Michael when I was 14 years old, and 4 years later he passed away from cancer. At 12 years old his biggest worry was piano practice, sports, and his younger brothers; to the extent that he wrote prayers for everyone and everything in his life. For a soul to be lost in an instant, you learn how precious every second is, and Michael lived and breathed every moment he could. He taught me to live in the good and the bad, to trust in life, and to believe in a greater good.
4. Give us a road map of your career. How did you get to where you are today?
In college, I was able to volunteer often with my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and participate with other outreach organizations affiliated with Rutgers University and Semester at Sea. Here I was able to become a research assistant working with Social Emotional Character Development and Autism. From there, I continued to volunteer with Embrace Kids Foundation and really develop a passion for oncology, PTSD, and the research method process. Currently, I am a SRA helping research different neurodegenerative diseases in California and hope to apply what I am researching with children.
5. What's your future plan? Your goals?
I want to become a child psychologist who specializes in the treatment of PTSD for those involved in various oncology treatments and those in remission. My passion for children battling comes from those who I have met, and while I cannot physically apply treatments for their physical health, I can make a difference with their mental health. You would be surprised how much joy a child’s smile holds, and I want to help keep and spread that joy.
6. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never be afraid to live the life you want to live. Make your home in people, not things, and have the courage and the faith to start over. In that, you’ll find a dream you can make your future and the passion to make it a reality.
7. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?
I believe strongly in love. Whether it is in a slice of pizza, your hometown, or a person, I think that there is an undeniable strength and connection in love. It can better the worst of man and make anyone a believer. I believe that in the purest of love there is ignorance and that it creates the most beautiful emotion.
8. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?
Last year I circumnavigated the globe on a ship, and in doing so, I was able to skydive threw a cloud in Namibia. Traveling 33 countries, I plan on skydiving the top 10 countries in the world.
If you would like to reach out to Danielle Kurlander for mentoring/networking opportunities, you can reach her HERE.