Duo of Glenwood High students receives Daniels Fund Scholarship | PostIndependent.com

Duo of Glenwood High students receives Daniels Fund Scholarship

Ryu Smith(left) and Angel Hernandez(right) pose in front of the GSHS logo
Taylor Cramer/Post Independent

Two Glenwood Springs High School seniors are among a select number of students named to the 2023 Class of Daniels Scholars.

The Daniels Fund, which offers up to $100,000 to high school students across Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico, sees thousands of students apply each year in order to grant them financial assistance during their college years. This year, Angel Hernandez and Ryu Smith were among the 238 students across the four states to be granted the scholarship. 

“The first thing I saw when I opened the letter was a big congratulations and that’s when I realized that I had gotten the scholarship,” Hernandez said. “After celebrating with my family, I spoke with my pre-collegiate counselor and he told me that college is no longer something I need to look at as what I can afford, but rather what I really want to pursue and where I want to go.”

Currently undecided as to where he will be attending university but narrowing his list down to the University of Colorado Boulder, Seattle University, University of Denver and Northeastern, Hernandez is still unsure what major seems the right fit for him.

“I have been thinking of going the law direction,” Hernandez said. “What I want to do is give back to the community, a lot like what the Daniels Fund stands for. The principle was giving back when you’re in a position to give back. I have an ability to speak confidently in public and I figure if I’m able to capitalize on that ability in college then I will be able to do a lot of good for the community.”

Meanwhile, Smith has already committed to the University of Arizona to become a Wildcat this fall. Considering a list of just five schools to pursue his college degree, Smith said it came down to exploring new territory and finding a school that carries a well-established finance program.

“What it really came down to was going somewhere new and I feel like going to Arizona will help me find more independence and flourish a little more compared to having the comfort zone of knowing a lot of people at a place like CU Boulder,” Smith said.

Smith says he is equally as excited to explore the many golf courses Arizona has to offer; a hobby that he has taken up in recent years.

Like Smith, Hernandez is also excited for the opportunity to call a new town home. A Roaring Fork Valley native, Hernandez knows there is more to see and is excited for his college experience to grant him that opportunity.

“Living here for the past 18 years of my life, I’m extremely excited to see what life is like outside of the canyon,” Hernandez said. “Being a recipient of the Daniels Fund, I have the opportunity to go wherever I want and that’s something that I’m extremely grateful for.”

As one of only two Daniels Scholars in Garfield County for this year’s 2023 class, Hernandez sees this opportunity as one to help motivate future students applying for the Daniels Fund.

“I’m glad that Ryu and myself are able to show people that it’s possible for students in this community to receive this kind of support,” Hernandez said. “I hope this sets the path for other students to apply for the Daniels Fund and hopefully this becomes a yearly thing at Glenwood High.”

Both Smith and Hernandez are set to walk across the stage and receive their high school diplomas on May 27 at Stubler Memorial Field.

Post Independent reporter Taylor Cramer can be reached at 970-384-9108 or tcramer@postindependent.com

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