CCBC student Danielle Misterka named 2016 President’s Distinguished Graduate Award recipient

May 25, 2016 | by Hope Davis | 443.840.5053 (office) | 443.971.5560 (cell)

Baltimore County, MD – Community College of Baltimore County has selected Danielle Misterka as its 2016 President’s Distinguished Graduate Award recipient. This award is given annually to a student who has shown exemplary leadership and a commitment to help others. Misterka, who lives in Essex, will be presented with the award at CCBC’s 2016 Commencement ceremony which takes place at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 4 at CCBC Essex. With more than 900 graduates expected to be in attendance, Misterka will deliver the 2016 commencement address.

Misterka is a first-generation college student. Having grown up under challenging financial circumstances, college was not a priority. She started working immediately following high school to contribute to the family finances.

“Although I dreamed of college, I felt selfish to ask my parents to help me pursue my dreams,” explained Misterka. “It was a struggle just to survive from day to day.”

But, that didn’t deter her efforts. She enrolled at CCBC twice but was unable to successfully earn a degree. The first time she had to drop out abruptly due to lack of support. The second time her life took a difficult turn when her son was diagnosed with Autism. Misterka put her life on hold to put all her efforts into caring for her son.

But, the third time was a charm. Misterka enrolled in CCBC, found her footing and excelled in her classes. She joined the Honors program and got involved in campus life. Even despite the challenges that continued to come her way, this time she had the strength and the support-system to complete her goal of earning a college degree.

“If you would have asked me five years ago if I would be considering graduating from college, I would have said ‘no way.’ Life hasn’t been easy, but I still came out on top.”

Today Danielle describes herself as a mother, wife, advocate, fighter, nurturer and survivor. She is also happy to add one more descriptor to her list….. CCBC graduate.

Following graduation, Misterka plans to attend UMBC in the fall. She received the Presidential Transfer Award – a two-year scholarship – and plans to major in neuroscience and minor in social work.


About the Community College of Baltimore County (
CCBC offers hundreds of programs and thousands of courses helping people of all ages, backgrounds and interests earn degrees, transfer, launch or advance careers, and prepare for in-demand jobs.

Providing accessible, affordable and high-quality education since 1957, CCBC educates more than 70,000 students each year, including half of all Baltimore County residents attending college in Maryland as undergraduates. Committed to student success and the development of lifelong learners who strengthen our regional workforce and enrich our community, CCBC has also been selected to participate in Achieving the Dream, a national student success initiative. In 2011, the Chronicle of Education honored CCBC as one of only 26 community colleges across the nation named “Great Colleges to Work For.”

CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

CCBC. The incredible value of education.
2016 President’s Distinguished Graduate Award recipient, Danielle Misterka