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DBT40 Honoree: Danielle Rodriguez

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Title: Instructional Educator


Workplace: Colonial School District

Age: 36

If Danielle Rodriguez looks familiar, you may know her as the reigning Mrs. New Castle America or from her several other prior pageant titles.

But others know her as a certified paraeducator at Gunning Bedford Middle School in the Colonial School District, where she works with autistic children in the Communication and Social Learning program. She started a program where every Friday, students practice their social skills by running the school Coffee Cart. Students must apply and interview for each position.

Rodriguez is also a big proponent of giving back, volunteering thousands of hours with organizations like the Brandywine SPCA, Food Bank of Delaware, Christiana Water Shield and Nemours Children’s Hospital. She is also a middle school competition cheer coach for a team of more than 40 participants.

Competing in pageants enables Rodriguez to promote her environmental awareness platform, “Be Kind, We Can’t Rewind,” that includes advocacy, volunteerism, and education. In May, she organized and hosted a Formal Wear Giveaway, where volunteers collected over 300 dresses, suits, shoes, jewelry and accessories to donate to those who couldn’t afford such items.

Rodriguez was a teen mother, with two children by the time she was 19, but it didn’t slow her drive to help others. The lifelong baker is returning to school this fall to begin a career in culinary Arts and hopes to own a successful food cart soon.

When she’s not working, competing in pageants or prepping cupcakes, Rodriguez can be found driving her 2019 Harley Sportster Motorcycle with her husband and friends on Delaware back roads.

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