A Leap of Faith

Victoria Grable never guessed she’d attend a college that was 16 hours from home, but a chance encounter pushed her on a path to WilmU.

Student Victoria Grable | Photo by Paul Patton

Grable, who maintains a 4.0 GPA as a student-athlete as well as a full-time job, will graduate in May, and much has changed in her time at Wilmington University. In just a year-and-a-half, she has come a long way from the girl who only brought flip-flops for her move to Delaware and who cried about having to wear so many layers in cold weather.

She began her college career at her family’s alma mater, the University of Central Florida (UCF), which was an hour away from home in Orlando. She planned to pursue studies in nursing and hoped to enjoy the adventures that come with college life.

And she did just that – for a year. “Freshman year was everything I had hoped it would be at UCF,” says Grable. “I had great friends and loved the huge tailgates.”

But something was missing.

A serious injury caused her to sit out of cheerleading for a year. And the degree program she chose wasn’t a good fit.

At a popular cheerleading event in Daytona, Fla., Grable ran into a friend who cheered for WilmU. She spent the day with the team and coaches. There was an instant connection.

Grable researched academic programs at WilmU and applied. In two months, she enrolled, packed up her dorm room, and said goodbye to friends and family, all of whom were supportive albeit surprised by the move.

“I had no idea what to expect,” says Grable, who had rarely been north of South Carolina. “I met with my academic adviser, coaches and future roommates all in one day. It was a whirlwind.”

She enjoys WilmU’s small classes, accessible instructors and personalized education. “I walk into the College of Education offices and can call on Dean Gray for support. You don’t get that other places.”

Today Grable feels primed to take on any challenges that come her way.

“My experiences have made me more confident and open-minded,” she says. “But most of all, I’ve learned to trust myself.” WU