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Daniels Fund accepting scholarship applications

Nov 10, 2017 11:00AM ● Published by Aspen Perry

2017 Utah Daniels Scholars. (Daniels Fund)

Gallery: Scholarships [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

From 2000 through 2017, the Daniels Scholarship program has provided more than $154 million in undergraduate scholarships to over 3,700 students from Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

The Daniels Fund is currently seeking applicants who plan to attend college in 2018. Applications to their scholarship program are being accepted online at DanielsFund.org, now through Nov. 30, 2017.

“The goal of the Daniels Scholarship program is to help each Daniels Scholar succeed in college,” said Bruce Wilmsen, vice president of media and community relations of the Daniels Fund.

The 2017 Daniels Scholars consisted of more than 230 students from the four states, with 21 hailing from Utah. Considering Utah College Application Week will begin kicking off at high schools across the Salt Lake Valley throughout the month of November, now is an opportune time for Utah students to apply.

According to Wilmsen, the Daniels Fund was established by Bill Daniels as a means of giving back to the communities that contributed to his success in business.

“Bill’s primary connection to Utah was (his ownership) of the Utah Stars American Baseball Association team in the early 1970s,” Wilmsen said.

Wilmsen further stated, “That experience inspired him to direct the Daniels Fund to support programs that make life better for the citizens of that state.”

In addition to offering financial support, the Daniels Scholarship program offers personal support to scholars throughout their college career.

“Each Daniels Scholar is assigned to one of the many scholar relations officers on our staff which offer personal support throughout their college journey,” Wilmsen said.

Another element is an enrichment program that teaches students soft skills many employers look for in potential hires, as well as career prep while in school to help students find internships and careers.

Wilmsen stressed there was no maximum dollar amount, as the scholarship amount is unique to each scholar.

“It is a ‘last dollar’ scholarship that covers college expenses after other financial aid and the student’s federally determined expected family contribution (EFC) are applied,” said Wilmsen.  

Wilmsen further explained that scholars who attend one of the 24 partner schools, which include the University of Utah, Westminster College and Weber State University, will have their EFC covered as well.

In addition to offering a check, the Daniels Fund also expects students to fulfill expectations to both meet their own individual achievement as well as giving back to their community.

“You have to make tough decisions, because in college there’s a lot of influence, whether negative or positive. I have high expectations for myself, and there were expectations from the Daniels Fund. I wanted to make sure I not only met those expectations, but exceeded,” said Dr. Marlon Peoples, former Daniels Scholar, in a Daniels Scholar video profile.

Peoples went on to earn a doctorate in physical therapy and states in the video his pride in being a Daniels Scholar. “They want to get a return on their investment by you being able to give back to society. I’m just proud to be part of the legacy of Bill Daniels,” he said.

As important as it is for the Daniels Fund staff to ensure eager students receive the necessary funding to attend college, the organization also has a grants division, which provides grants to the United Way of Salt Lake’s Promise Partnership program and the United Way of Northern Utah’s Promise Neighborhood project.

Both the United Way of Salt Lake and Promise South Salt Lake are the driving forces behind 10 after-school programs available for South Salt Lake residents, in addition to STEM festivals, sport activities and summer programs.

For the staff of the Daniels Fund, providing grants to better communities is just another way of honoring Bill Daniels and his mission to “support highly effective nonprofit organizations that achieve significant results,” as stated on DanielsFund.org.

Wilmsen noted, beyond helping students succeed in college, the ultimate goal for Daniels Scholars is for students to “become independent, successful in a rewarding career, and actively engaged in their community.” 
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