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Daniels Fund surprises students with scholarships

Fifteen students were told they were returning for more interviews before learning they had been selected to be Daniels Scholarship Fund recipients.

DENVER — Daniels Fund surprised 15 Denver metro area students in person with scholarships Thursday afternoon.

In total, 240 students will receive scholarships from the fund this year, including 130 from Colorado.

The students thought they were returning for a second round of scholarship interviews due to heavy competition when they found out they had been selected to be recipients.

The 15 students at the in-person event attend the following schools:

  • Academy High School
  • Addenbrooke Classical Academy
  • Aurora High School
  • Cherry Creek High School
  • DSST: Montview High School
  • Eaglecrest High School
  • Gateway High School
  • Green Mountain High School
  • Hackman Academy
  • Littleton High School
  • Silver Creek High School
  • Thomas Jefferson High School
  • Vista Peak Prepratory

Six of Thursday's recipients will be first-generation college students.

“These students have incredible grit and drive, embody the values that guided Bill Daniels’ life, and are poised to do great things. It’s an honor to carry on Bill Daniels’ legacy of giving by supporting these outstanding young people’s educations,” said Hanna Skandera, president & CEO of Daniels Fund. “We can’t wait to see their success and the long-term impacts they make with this opportunity.”

> Watch the full surprise here:

RELATED: Daniels Fund awards nearly $30 million in grants, $11 million in scholarships in 2021

Daniels Scholarship Program offers four-year scholarships that provides financial and personal support. The scholarships provides up to $100,000 over four years to be put towards the cost of tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies as well as other miscellaneous educational expenses.

Daniels Fund says the program has provided more than $255 million in undergraduate scholarships to more than 4,800 students since 2000.

> Learn more about the Daniels Fund:

In order to be eligible, students must be graduating high school seniors, permanent U.S. residents, have a minimum 3.0 GPA on an unweighted 4.0-scale, and score higher than minimum requirements on the SAT or ACT. They must also meet financial eligibility requirements.

Applicants are selected from the funds four-state region of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Scholarship recipients are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Strength of character
  • Leadership potential
  • Commitment to serving their communities
  • Academic performance or promise
  • Well-rounded personality
  • Emotional maturity and stability

Daniels Fund was founded by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, and the majority of his $1.1 billion estate was transferred to the foundation after his death in 2000.

"Bill Daniels was a cable television pioneer known for his compassion for those in need and his unwavering commitment to ethics and integrity," Daniels Fund said on its website. "Bill loved America dearly. He fought in two wars to defend our country and the freedoms we enjoy today. Bill Daniels was also passionate about the free enterprise system, which he believed provided the best opportunity to help people improve their lives."

RELATED: 135 Colorado high school seniors named 2021 Daniels Scholars

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