Donna Mauer doesn’t need to look far to find inspiration. Whether she’s working with potential new students to better their lives or practicing yoga and zip lining to enhance her own, her strong sense of purpose and motivation stem from a very personal place – her family.
“My family came to America from Yugoslavia with nothing,” she said. “They didn’t know English and had to work hard for their success. They didn’t complain.”
Watching her family – Donna’s grandmother, widowed at age 22; her parents, building a successful bakery from the ground up; and her uncle, learning English and working his way through college – shaped the way she perceived success for the rest of her life and allowed her to provide empathetic and insightful advice and encouragement to many of the students at Chancellor University today.
As a senior area development manager, Donna spends the majority of her time talking to students and learning their interests, why they want to change careers or go back to school and what they want to do with their lives.
“When I talk to a student and they enroll in school to pursue their degree, it’s a wonderful feeling, because I believe in them and have confidence in their dreams,” she said.
She adds, “You can do anything as long as you have drive and passion. Work hard and want it because anything is possible.”
Donna’s no stranger to hard work herself. As a first generation student, she has earned her marketing degree from University of Florida, started her own telecommunications business, worked as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, run highly successful internet press rooms for the Sony Ericsson tennis tournament and traveled all over the country helping students to find their dreams at Chancellor University.
“I’m lucky. Whatever I’ve set out to do in life, I’ve done,” she said. “I’m not afraid to take chances. Every day is an accomplishment. Be aware and be present. Don’t be blinded by time constraints.”
And while she’s helping students realize their career and education goals, Donna is pursuing her own at the same time; she’s a master’s degree student at Chancellor, too.
“I’m a busy person. And when someone says ‘I don’t have time,’ I don’t get that,” she said. “If you really want something, you’ll make the time.”
She added, “Some people make the excuse, ‘I’m too old.’ I don’t feel that way at all. You’re never too old to start new and that’s what I try to impart to the people I meet.”