Smart Girl Nancy Dlugokenski is originally from Metro-Detroit. Coming from a single parent family mostly raised by her great grandmother, she attended school in Southwest Detroit.
After graduating from high school, she took a year off and joined the U.S. Army Reserve. Nancy attended Wayne State University for a few years and transferred to Davenport University where she graduated with honors with a degree in Business Management. Shortly after graduation she attended Thomas M. Cooley Law School and earned her Juris Doctor and now practices Criminal Defense and Probate Law.
While serving in the Army Reserve Nancy was a Helicopter Mechanic and a Door Gunner. Later in her military career, she changed her job classification and went on active status and finished her career as a Career Counselor and an Officer Accession Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO).
Last April 2018, Nancy retired from active status and now runs her organization called Patriot Probate Agency that is centered around professional Guardianship and Conservatorship. We sat down with Nancy to discuss her trials, tribulations, mantras and what it means to her to be a Smart Girl.
What has life taught you?
Nothing is a for-sure thing. But never give up on your dreams because they’re always achievable and it doesn’t matter your background or where you’re from. I came from a very, very, dysfunctional family but I accomplished everything I needed to. It may have taken me 12 years to finish undergrad, but I did it!
What would your advice be to young girls who seem to be struggling financially, academically, or maybe even both?
I would tell them there are always resources out there, tap into them, there’s always a way to reach your dreams. There’s always financial assistance out there, and there are always people willing to help. You can look for mentors; there are free tutoring services to assist etc. There’s always somebody out there you’ve just got to ask for it, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What do you do to overcome some of life’s obstacles?
I pray, and then I dig deep within and then put my nose to the grindstone and search out and ask for help when I need it. There’s always a way to get it done you’ve just got to take a deep breath and step outside of the situation and look at things from a different point of view.
What has the U.S. Armed Services taught you?
- You can always depend on your team
- You have a good team around you
- You are more capable than you think you are
- You just have to dig deep within
What makes a ‘Smart Girl’ to you?
A smart girl is a person who is very focused on their dreams and their future and won’t accept no for an answer and won’t stop until she’s achieved her goals. She’ll always find the resources to achieve her goals. You can always find a way. Ask for help, it’s out there. That makes a smart girl.
To keep up with Nancy or if you have any further questions regarding Patriot Probate Agency you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Birthday: December 10th
Fun Facts: Served in the United States Army Reserve and was on active duty for a total of 28 years. In Law School: President of Phi Alpha Delta, a fraternity centered around charity.
Be sure to read about our other Smart Girls in the Smart Girl Power Spotlight.