NWTC student receives prestigious honor

Published: Mar. 27, 2019 at 2:42 PM CDT
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A Northeast Wisconsin Technical College student receives a prestigious honor.

He's one of just 263 students from more than one thousand college and universities around the country to be named a 2019 Newman Civic Fellow.

The award will further Daniel Diebold's inspirational journey.

After getting in a lot of trouble growing up, Diebold looked to the military to straighten him out.

"When I joined I had a child that was just over a year old and I wasn't going anywhere, I dropped out of school, I wasn't very productive," recalls Diebold.

During 10 years in the Army, including 3 deployments to the Middle East, Diebold grew up fast.

"Always had to worry about IEDs, people putting placements in and stuff, had some close calls, but I was lucky," says Diebold.

Last year, Diebold entered NWTC's Automotive program with a dream, to one day open a car repair shop with enough room to for other veterans to gather, work on their cars and bond.

"They need to get this done, it's going to cost $1,200 at the shop, I can work on them and cut the labor in half or more, and then just mainly pay for parts and a payment plan for up to a year or so," explains Diebold.

It was Diebold's vision, along with his extensive work in the Student Veterans Association and DAV to raise funds in the community for fixed income veterans, that prompted his instructor to nominate him for a Newman Civic Fellowship.

"You hear him talking about ho he wants to create positive change in his community and he wants to work with other veterans to create that sense of camaraderie, help them with mental health issues, relieving some of that isolation veterans can have after they come back from deployment, he's the right candidate," says Rachel Scheffen, NWTC Civic Engagement Coordinator.

A few weeks ago, Daniel received word that he is a Newman Civic Fellow.

"It's pretty cool because I've never been really acknowledged for anything big, I don't do it for acknowledgement, most people that do this kind of stuff don't really care if they do get acknowledged, but it does feel good because it's easier to get acknowledged for negative things than positive things," says Diebold.

During his year-long fellowship, Diebold will receive a mentor and attend a conference in Boston that provides networking and leadership training, all- expenses paid.