ECPI University Military Student Spotlight

DuboseLaWanda DuBose grew up in the tiny town of Bunnlevel, North Carolina. At age 19, she was ready for a change and joined the Army. She left with high expectations, ones she placed on herself and those that came from her grandmother. “My grandmother raised me and she is my hero,” says LaWanda.

Almost immediately, LaWanda realized that she had made a very smart decision. “I love the military and I love my uniform,” she says. “There’s a camaraderie that just cannot be beat, a group of soldiers working together toward a common goal.” Currently a Sergeant and married to a Sergeant First Class, she is very content with the life she has built. However, a few years ago, she decided she wanted to reach a little further and earn a college degree with an eye on becoming an officer. “When I called my grandmother and told her about my plans, she was so proud!”

LaWanda began her studies in January 2012, and – determined to finish in 2.5 years – she is right on schedule to graduate this summer with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a 3.74 GPA. What’s more, she has already been accepted to Army Officer Candidate School – nearly a picture-perfect ending.

Sadly, her grandmother recently passed away not long ago. However, she passed knowing that LaWanda was certain to graduate. “She was my greatest motivator,” says LaWanda. “At the end of every term, I would call her with my grades and she was always so proud of me! For Christmas this year, my husband gave me a charm with a graduation cap on it and said it was from my grandmother. Much like her memory, I will treasure it forever.”

Now, all of this alone makes for a very nice story. However, LaWanda is more than just a busy college student with a full-time job. She has two young children, serves as secretary for the campus chapter of Student Veterans of America and is a tireless volunteer with the Criminal Justice Club and its numerous charitable projects. Last year, she went to Capitol Hill to join other vets, meeting with lawmakers and persuading them to support additional measures to help returning service members.

LaWanda DuBose demonstrates every day what leadership is all about. For that, ECPI University salutes her. If you see her on campus, thank her for her service and the excellent example she sets for all those around her.

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