Illustrating the Daniels Fund's impact in the communities we serve

Josie Ortegon

A Daniels Fund Impact Story

College Attended:
New Mexico State University
Government and Journalism & Mass Communications;Minor: Spanish
Scholarship Year:
How the Daniels Fund Scholarship has impacted my life:

Please describe what it means to you to be a Daniels Scholar:     It means representing Bill Daniels and his humble actions to improve the areas around him. It’s representing a great opportunity and second chances that the scholarship presents to us. From the day I pledged to be a scholar to when I started school, the opportunities grew. And a chance at transforming myself into a better human being was possible because of the endless support the Daniels Fund team provides for me. It’s the chance to give back and be grateful, and at times, I am so busy with school and work that I forget why I’m at school in the first place. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Daniels Fund. Without the support from them, half of the things I’ve been so blessed to do wouldn’t have been possible.

What do you like most about being in college?    I love college! I love the ability to try new things, and grow into the person I want to be. I have joined a dance team (with no dance experience) here at NMSU and that was definitely an eye-opener because despite the fact that I never done it before, I was able to try it. There are so many great things about college, it’s crazy!  You can try so many things, and if it doesn’t work, you can try again and again. It’s a fantastic way to grow into a newer me!

What has been the greatest challenge so far in college?    The greatest challenge would definitely be the reality of growing up and the insecurities that come with it. I knew who I was in high school, and I thought I was already an adult. However, college is where I learned otherwise. Life isn’t easy and sometimes it’s really hard because it feels like curveballs just keep getting thrown towards you, and you have no choice but to handle it with the grace of an adult and shed your fear. It’s scary, but it helps you see things from a different perspective.

What advice would you offer someone who is applying to become a Daniels Scholar?    Being a part of the Daniels Fund is really great! Be true to yourself during your interview and if you get the scholarship, congrats, it’s definitely something to be proud of!  Be patient with yourself in college, choose to be happy and be grateful for what you have. College is a great time to grow and do such great things, but always remember where you come from and the people who helped you get there!