Three CPP College Readiness Students Receive Daniels Fund Scholarships

May 4, 2012 - Dorene DiNaro

Daniels Fund Scholarship recipientsLast month, three of UNM’s UNM College Prep Program College Readiness Program students were awarded scholarships from the Daniel’s Fund.  The students, Ahmad Samir Gulmohammad, Karen Cecilia Mercado and Carmen Kimberly Sierra, who all have above 4.0 GPAs, are excited to go to college and about the opportunities the scholarship will afford them.

The Daniels Fund selects recipients for scholarships based on the strength character, leadership, potential to contribute to their community, academic performance or promise, and the well-rounded personality of each applicant.  Recipients of the scholarship come from a four state region covering Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, and over the past six years, approximately 70 recipients have attended UNM—20 of them going through the CPP College Readiness Program.

Gulmohammad, Mercado and Sierra all say that if it weren’t for the CPP College Readiness Program, they wouldn’t have even known about the scholarship or how to apply.  “We all want to thank CPP for letting us know about the scholarship and helping us apply,” says Sierra.   

Gulmohammad, a senior at Atrisco Heritage Academy high school will be delivering a speech at his graduation on May 19.  He is excited to start UNM in the fall where will work towards a medical degree.  “Everyone will call me ‘Dr. Samir’ in ten years,” he says.

Mercado, who is also graduating from Atrisco Heritage Academy, wants to attend UNM in the fall and work toward a neonatal nursing degree.  She says that the scholarship will give her the opportunity to pursue her dream.  “This is another opportunity at life,” she says.  “I was abandoned by my family when I was young and it has made me more motivated and determined to achieve what I want.”

Sierra has had her eye on two universities: the University of San Diego and the University of Denver and says that she couldn’t have even considered either one of those schools without the scholarship.  She plans to major in business and wants to start her own business with strong ties to her community. 

Since its inception, the Daniels Fund has awarded over $8 million in scholarships in the State of New Mexico and paid over $51 million in grants.  The fund was created by Bill Daniels whose family lived in Hobbs, which was the location of the Daniels Insurance Company.  He attended the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell.