Some CVTC and UW-Stout courses were out of his comfort zone, and he sought one-on-one help from professors and tutors.
“When I was accepted at Stout, I knew it was my last chance to go back to school and I had to make the most of it,” he said. “I found the resources to help. I’d meet with professors a lot, and they’d explain it to me until I got it.”
In order to take classes during the day, he began a new job at Andersen Corp. in the crating department in Menomonie, first the 3 to 11 p.m. shift then the 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift.
Work all night, straight to classes all day, catch some sleep and do it again. He would study all weekend to catch up, but he also worked Saturdays — 50-hour weeks — for most of one year.
He walked into one class, realized quickly he wasn’t prepared for the curriculum then re-enrolled later — after getting the book and tutoring in advance so that he was ready.
“It takes a profound commitment to get up and go to class every day. I was there for a purpose, and nobody was going to stop me from achieving that purpose,” DeAngelo said.
“I’ve done it with prayer, ambition and hard work.”
A brighter future realized
DeAngelo already is realizing the value of a college degree. He has been drawing interest from employers about jobs in management — something that never happened previously. “It’s opening doors,” he said.
He’s trying to balance the options with his commitment to earning his master’s and becoming “an expert in risk control,” he said.
He continues to work at Andersen, at its facility on the north side of Interstate 94. He thanked the company for partially reimbursing his tuition expenses.
“I’m happy to see that he accomplished his goal,” Young said. “He will do well wherever he decides to go from here.”
DeAngelo and his wife have bought a house near UW-Stout, close enough so he can walk to his master’s classes.
The university that he used to drive by and that seemed so far away is right across the street. It has become his new vehicle to a better life.