Dani Frank and Paola Cordova Arcela met when they were in high school. They attended catholic sister schools in Atlanta, Georgia and Lima, Peru. Dani visited Peru twice in high school for mission trips, and Paola visited Georgia as Dani’s exchange student. During their time together, they became fast friends and chatted almost every night on Facebook and WhatsApp. 

As they approached the end of high school, they started talking about what was next. Paola decided the best choice for her was to enroll in the Peruvian Navy and continue her education that way. After passing all her written, physical, and swimming exams, Paola was denied admission into the Navy for a variety of reasons, including race, gender, and financial standing. 

When Dani discovered this, she was heartbroken and didn’t understand why Paola would not get to further her education. Dani came up with a wild idea: to ask her parents if Paola could come to school with her here, in America! After Dani’s parents agreed, the two worked together in Georgia and Peru to complete a variety of tasks to get Paola ready to start her studies in the U.S. like completing student visa paperwork, gaining Paola acceptance into Kennesaw State University, and obtaining proof of all her vaccinations. Thankfully, both were admitted to Kennesaw State University.

During their time at Kennesaw State, both Dani and Paola joined Alpha Zeta Chapter of Omega Phi Alpha, and to this day have fond memories of serving the community together and growing their sisterhood even further. 

Dani and Paola both graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2020 and have remained close friends.  

When Dani is asked how many siblings she has, she always includes her Peruvian siblings, Paola and her younger brother Carlos, who is completing his degree at Georgia Tech. 

Dani recently launched a podcast, Illuminating You by Society of Authentic Living, where she helps people share their stories of overcoming struggles by remaining resilient. 

You can hear Paola share her story in episode one of Illuminating You which can be found on societyofauthenticliving.com and popular streaming sites, or below! 

Today, Dani lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and works as a Substance Abuse Counselor. Paola lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, and is obtaining her MBA at Georgia State. She also serves on the board of the non-profit, Peace Harmony Joy which works to create less stress and more joy around the world.