"Large universities can be very intimidating, but at UWFox the professors know you by name, they are attentive to effort being put in, and I’ve never seen a single one stick their nose in the air when attending to students."
Hometown: Appleton, WI
Current Residence: Menasha, WI
When attended UWFox: Spring 2012 to present
Background before UWFox:
I attended Appleton West and eventually received my High School Equivalency Diploma during the winter of 2010. I had several jobs while in high school, including as a waitress and as a baker at Perkins. In June 2008 I was in a motorcycle accident and suffered multiple skull fractures. I spent a week in a hospital’s intensive care unit, in an induced coma. After that I spent three weeks re-learning how to walk, talk, and eat. Even though I was still unclear as to what reality was or who I was, my doctors gave my parents a pamphlet about concussions and sent me home. Due to my medical condition, things weren’t working out at home for me, and I moved to Madison where I spent a period of time homeless. From there I started reading at the library about my brain injury, and soon became astonished by its functions and was driven to learn everything I could about it. I had healed enough eventually to start studying for my HSED, and soon tested out of that. While testing for my HSED I found that there were educational opportunities available to me at the university level and that I could actually be admitted to a real university. I’ve never stopped being thankful for learning that since the day I found out. After studying and knowing what I do now, I’m dedicating my life to make sure that, if I can help it, brain injury victims will be given proper treatment.
Why did you choose UWFox?
As a troubled child, I wasn’t sure what my options were to further my education. When I found out that I could attend a real university it was surreal to me. I thought only "preppy" kids with good grades went to universities. To know that I had an opportunity to take my education as far as a medical degree was like being handed a pot of gold. Suddenly I knew that, with the passion and dedication that I have for my obtaining my degree, I wouldn’t rest until I was Dr. Kaycie Hopfensperger. Large universities can be very intimidating, but at UWFox the professors know you by name, they are attentive to effort being put in, and I’ve never seen a single one stick their nose in the air when attending to students.
Have you chosen a major?
Pre-med and neuro-psychiatry
What are you learning that you find interesting and rewarding at UWFox?
I find it very rewarding that after what I’ve learned, I can now feel confident in contributing intelligently to conversations. At a two-year university you may be limited somewhat by the courses you can take in science, math, and psychology, for example. However, even with first and second year courses I’ve taken these subjects suddenly make my thoughts and opinions more valuable.
What are your career plans after UWFox?
I’m going to be going to UW-Green Bay for my bachelor’s degree, and then hopefully the new med school in the Green Bay area will be up and running in time for me to be one of the first medical students to graduate from there with my M.D. If the program I’m searching for, neuro-science, isn’t available there I’ll be enrolling at UW-Madison.
Are there other interesting things that you’d like to share about yourself?
There is no such thing as a "lost cause.” I was expelled from two high schools, and was going nowhere in life. It may not take others a dozen skull fractures, but there is hope for anyone that they can turn their lives around with opportunities like those at UWFox, and become productive and successful people living fulfilling lives. At life's hardest, you can choose to be a victim with excuses, or a survivor with a success story.