Six Greeley-Evans School District 6 seniors who will graduate in May have been notified they will receive the prestigious Daniels Scholarship, and two were selected recently to receive the distinguished Boettcher Scholarship.
Paid for through the Daniels Fund, a private foundation started by entrepreneur and cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, these scholarships cover four years of tuition and fees, room and board, books and miscellaneous educational expenses for scholars who attend any accredited nonprofit college or university in the United States.
Three of this year’s winners are from Northridge High School, the school with the highest overall number of Daniel’s Fund scholars since the inception of the program. The District 6 Daniels Scholarship recipients for 2019 are:
· Abigail Joyce Hubbard, Early College Academy
· Darling Michelle Perez Ramos, Greeley Central High School
· Ashton Marcus Kerwin, Northridge High School
· Tomas Gabriel Martinez, Northridge High School
· Daniel Rodriguez, Northridge High School
· Samantha Ruby Montalvo Blanco, University High School
More than 2,000 students applied for Daniels Scholarships this year. The foundation awarded 218 scholarships in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The Daniels Fund awards scholarships based not only on academic success, but on the character, leadership qualities and commitment to contributing to the community exhibited by students.
“I continue to be impressed by how amazingly well District 6 students compete for this very prestigious scholarship,” said Superintendent Dr. Deirdre Pilch. “These students are some of our most motivated, resilient and hardest-working young people, and they are very deserving of this honor. They are going to have great opportunities with this scholarship and I am proud of all they have accomplished.”
Last year, six District 6 students received Daniels scholarships. Over the past 13 years, 98 District 6 seniors have received this competitive award. Since the program was launched in 2000, the Daniels fund has awarded more than $180 million in scholarships to more than 4,000 recipients.
The Boettcher Foundation named Samuel Stoltz, a senior at Frontier Academy, and Taylor Henderson, a senior at Greeley Central High School, as Boettcher Scholarship recipients. Both are incredibly active students, exhibiting excellence in academics, extracurricular activities and community service.
“I was at drama rehearsal for Oliver Twist, [Frontier Academy’s] upcoming show, when I saw my mom waving something,” Samuel said. “She had driven the letter over to me from our house to open right then.”
In addition to drama, Samuel also participates in tennis, Boy Scouts, United Way of Weld County’s Youth Leadership Council and Key Club, an international community service organization for high school students that collaborates with local Kiwanis Clubs to make a positive impact by helping others in their school and community.
He gave credit to his family, his Boy Scout leaders, his teachers and a retired community member for mentoring him along the way.
“They really taught me to believe in myself and the power we each have as long as we do the best with what we’ve got,” Samuel said.
Taylor participates in extracurricular activities almost every day of the week: Student Council, Feminist Book Club, National Honor Society, Thespian Troupe and Cat’s Cradle, Greeley Central’s literary art magazine. She is also involved in SART Peers, a team of students that educate their peers about sexual assault prevention during middle school and high school health classes.
Taylor decided to open up about her father’s struggle with mental illness in her application essay.
“He’s had an anxiety and bipolar disorder that he’s struggled with his whole life, but when I got into high school, it spiked,” Taylor said. “It was a really strange transition for me – working to love and continue a relationship with someone who has mental illness.”
Over the last few years, Taylor has assumed a parent-type role in her family, going grocery shopping and taking care of her little sister. She credits her mom for helping her balance everything, cope with the challenging situation and make time to take care of herself.
Samuel has also used family struggles as a source of strength. When he was in sixth grade, his mother was diagnosed with bone cancer. Watching her undergo chemotherapy had a lasting impact on him. He plans to study biomedical science at Colorado State University.
“[I’m] trying to make sure that nobody else has to go through that,” Samuel said. “I want to work in a lab and do my own research, take medical discoveries and translate them into hospital practices.”
With encouragement and support from her Advanced Placement English teachers, Taylor has learned how to use writing to process her internal struggles and express her creativity. She is interested in attending the University of Colorado at Boulder to major in English with an emphasis in creative writing, and minor in both communications and medieval history.
“I think that’s a good way to keep my options open and explore a lot of my interests,” Taylor said.
The Boettcher Scholarship provides recipients with the full cost of tuition at any four-year college or university in Colorado, as well as fees, a book allowance and an annual stipend for living expenses.
The Boettcher Foundation awards 40 scholarships per year, totaling about $3 million. Thousands of students apply for this prestigious scholarship every year. Applicants go through a rigorous application and interview process.
Students are selected based on their superior scholastic abilities; evidence of leadership and involvement; service to the community and their school and outstanding character.
“My favorite part about the whole process is that I ended up staying true to myself and the scholarship rewarded me for that,” Samuel said.
* This story was originally published on the Greeley-Evans School District Website. Click here to view the original article.