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Daniels Fund Scholarship 2017

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Antonio Marquez (17 years old) – Colorado School of Mines – Golden, Colorado

  • What was the process and the work you put in to receive the Daniels Fund? (How many essays etc..)


Although it was a challenging experience, the Daniels fund was definitely something worthwhile in giving all you efforts to. The process that I had building toward the scholarship was initially connecting with people. They say that in the real world “it is not really what you know but who you know”, and I can honestly say that it is an honest to God true fact. I reached out to previous recipients and asked them how their experience was and got excellent tips from 2 different individuals. Soon after I outlined how much time I had until the deadline for the scholarship and made an agenda on the times I was supposed to have each essay written by. I did this because I knew I needed to give myself time to edit and revise each response and improve it the most I could. The work I put into it was definitely geared more toward what I have made of my own legacy. I am positive individual that has been involved in school activities such as wrestling and JROTC. I worked up to be a competitive candidate by starting off my freshman year going on to my following years with a 4.0 GPA in my academics. I never once failed to set my education as my first priority. I also did not do it all on my own; I had several people help me and look over my essays multiple times before the deadline. It is crucial to plan accordingly to be as competitive as you can be.

  • Why were you so determined to get the scholarship and how will it help you in the long run for your future career?


I was so determined to receive this award because I am a first generation student. Both of my parents are immigrants from Mexico that came to the US to give me a better life and provide me with more opportunities. I didn’t really have a choice honestly. I was eager to receive this award since my parents are far from able to pay for a four year degree program, especially from an institution like the School of Mines. I thought to myself that the only way to succeed was going to college and earning a degree, however, I also asked myself how on earth was I supposed to pay to actually make that dream come true. Right after, I came to the realistic conclusion that the only way to pay it off was through scholarships or loans. Like any other student across the nation, I did not want to take out loans for my education because I knew that the time to pay off that loan bill could be extended to a lifetime. Therefore, I needed this scholarship because becoming free of potential debt and having a college education at no cost is such a blessing.

Receiving this award will aid me in the future toward my career because initially I only had a bachelor’s degree in mind. However, shortly after receiving the award the idea of going for a master’s degree grew in my head. With this recognition, going to school and excelling in my education for more than just four years can definitely be a possibility. Also, since the scholarship pays off all my college costs, I will not be in debt coming out of college therefore, I can go straight into the workforce building up to stabilizing myself without the burden of owing money. With this being said, not only would I be able to build my life from there but I would also be able to repay my parents back and pay off their house that they have provided as a home for me for 17 happy years.

  • What will you use it for?


I plan to use this award to attend the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. In this institution I will be studying and working up toward a Bachelor’s degree of a Major in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Electrical Engineering. This scholarship is a true blessing because I will be making my path up to a degree stress-free. After receiving my degree after four years, I plan on going out to the workforce and taking my degree to the automotive field since I love working with cars. Establishing myself in a job that I am passionate about I will begin to save money in order to go back to school and receive my master’s degree after two more years.

  • What was your reaction when you received this fellowship?


I can remember the week of award announcements that the Daniels Fund informed us about as if it was yesterday. I was anxious to know whether or not I had received the fellowship. I remember coming home from school every single day during lunch rushing to my mail box to see if any envelop was from the fund. After a long waiting week I received a big envelop that congratulated me on my accomplishment and as I ripped it open I was shaking uncontrollably. I remember that once I held the letter in front of my face I froze while I read and thought to myself that< “I had did it! All the hard work I put into my education definitely payed of! My parents were not going to pay a cent for my college and I couldn’t be happier.” I teared up as I called my parents informing them that the fear of debt due to my college was irrelevant now because I had it all paid for. It was honestly the greatest moment of my life as I realized my true potential.

  • What would you do if you would have not received the scholarship?


To be honest, if I had not received the scholarship I would have been a little disappointed. However, that would have not stopped me from going to college and pursuing my dreams of becoming an engineer. If anything the decline of the award would have motivated me more to apply for other scholarships and figure out other ways to accomplish my goals in life. Although it would have been a major setback, I truly believe that, “the one who is passionate about succeeding will go above and beyond to achieve it.” Therefore, I would have applied to almost every if not all scholarship(s) I could get my hands on. Also, throughout the summer I had planned to work non-stop saving as much money as I could in order to decrease my chances of debt. If in case I was still short in funds, I would have unfortunately taken out loans to pay for my education. Nothing at all was going to stop me from becoming an engineer.

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