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

Jonathan Gomez

A Daniels Fund Impact Story

College Attended:
New Mexico State University
Scholarship Year:
How the Daniels Fund Scholarship has impacted my life:

Please describe what it means to you to be a Daniels Scholar:    To me, being a Daniels Scholar is about integrity, values, and charity. It means that despite background circumstances, a person seeks to do what they believe is right. It is not only winning, because many times it is about enduring the hardships of life. But regardless of victory or loss, it is always about coming out a better person in the end. It is about willingness to put forth the effort and a true desire to succeed, but always remembering not to have success as your only measure of worth. It is about caring and giving to others, without expecting to have the favor returned. And it is about wanting to leave the world, a little better than when you arrived.

What do you like most about being in college?    I love the college atmosphere. There is just so much socializing and learning. You meet new people and learn new things every day. Even walking around campus you realize the rich diversity of life. You can see the potential for all to expand horizons and develop the understandings that will eventually solve, heal, and create.

What has been the greatest challenge so far in college?    My greatest challenge in college has been the amount of responsibility that comes with the title of full-time college student. Because of college life’s social abundance, getting sidetracked is all too easy, which ties into the fact that college professors aren’t here to keep track of all their students. Finding motivation to sit down and do what oftentimes seems tedious, is hard when no one is telling you to do your work and everyone is telling you to do something with them. It has been my greatest challenge, and oftentimes the cause of late nights. But with time comes mastery, and slowly doing homework comes before a fun day with friends.

What advice would you offer someone who is applying to become a Daniels Scholar?    My advice to someone who is applying to become a Daniels Scholar would be to be honest and sincere. When you fill out your first papers, really stop to think about what changes you would like to see in your community, and when you go to the interview don’t be afraid. Just be yourself, it is all they want from you. And if you think you blew it, don’t count yourself out, you will be surprised. In my panicked self, I told them I had a dog named Sandy, but somehow they looked past my fear and here I am today.