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

Richard Senser

A Daniels Fund Impact Story

College Attended:
Colorado State University
Mechanical Engineering
Scholarship Year:
How the Daniels Fund Scholarship has impacted my life:

Please describe what it means to you to be a Daniels Scholar:   Being a Daniels Scholar means putting the means of others before your own, giving and volunteering whenever possible. A Daniels Scholar is someone who is focused on their success in college, life and beyond. At the same time a Daniels Scholar never forgets the people who helped to pave the road to his/her future achievements.

What do you like most about being in college?   I enjoy the freedom. The ability to make my own schedule, pick my own classes, my own major. I also like the social aspect of life in the dorms. There is always someone there for you when you need to get help on homework or just to toss a ball around. The family atmosphere is what I love about college life and the amount of freedom given to us as students and adults alike.

What has been the greatest challenge so far in college?   The transition in the amount of time one needs to study to be able to do well on the exams. In college, the average exam could be worth one-third of your overall grade, with such a big impact, it can be stressful. I remember in one week I had three exams in one day, that was a killer.

What advice would you offer someone who is applying to become a Daniels Scholar?   To an applicant I give the following advice: be yourself. When I first found out I was a semi-finalist I was looking online trying to find out ways on how to impress the scholarship interviewers. After a chat with my mom, my mentor and my school counselor, they all said the same thing. I made it this far by being truthful, not making myself into something I'm not, so why stop now. Once I received the scholarship and went to SHIFT, I realized that the Daniels Fund is not looking for the perfect person.  They are looking for individuals who have impacted their community, their families, their friends and most importantly themselves. The 2009 scholars ranged in a number of differing characteristics from students who have faced economic hardships, academic hardships, trials and tribulations within their own life as well as other students who have worked 35-40 hours a week during high school and managed to fit in time to volunteer. The overall deciding factor as to whether or not you get the scholarship is, you. If you are honest to your interviewers, truthful during the application process and just be yourself, you will be considered in the final selection process. When I was applying for the scholarship, one common motto kept me going, even when I thought I was out of the running:

"When you put your life in perspective, you realize how little time there is to make something truly significant out of it. To some people this might mean acquiring a lot of possessions. To others, building a business or owning property. And there are those whose lives won’t be fulfilled unless they achieve fame and fortune. There’s nothing wrong with any of these aspirations, but for me they pale in comparison to individuals who want to leave something more consequential to their legacy. For example, being the kind of person who takes the time to pass on knowledge and values to the next generation. Having family, friends, and business associates remember you as an honest person. And helping others who will be left behind. I believe if you live your life in this way, you’ll leave this world with a clear conscience, and with a smile on your face."  -Bill Daniels