Magazine Feature / People

Daniels Fund scholarship winner seeks to become ‘a man of value’

When Sam Granados was a sixth grader at Lake Middle School in Denver, his grades were low and his motivation to do any better was even lower.

“My early life was vague, I don’t remember doing much good in middle school,” says Granados, who won a Daniels Fund scholarship to attend the University of Denver this fall.

When he was in middle school, education officials referred Granados to the Mi Casa Resource Center, a Denver nonprofit that works to help Latinos improve their lives, claiming he was at risk for delinquency. The move reshaped his life completely.

This spring, he finished high school with honors while working two jobs. He credits Mi Casa for his new life because of support from his mentor and staff there.

Granados is one of more than 1,500 recipients of Daniels Fund scholarships since they were created in 2000. And he’s the third Mi Casa youth staffer in as many years to win the scholarship. His sister, Jacquie, won it last year.

The scholarships are awarded each spring to graduating high school seniors and supplement federal, state, institutional and private financial aid and scholarships. Applicants are judged on strength of character, academic performance or promise, leadership potential, potential to contribute to one’s community and well-rounded personality.

“Sam won the scholarship because he’s an outstanding young adult,” says Ginger Alferos, Mi Casa’s manager of youth programs. “I’ve been working with Sam for the past four years and have always marveled at his passion for his community and his future.”

Alferos also described Granados as “a hard worker, funny, insightful, intelligent and steadfast enough to achieve any of his dreams.”

Those dreams include studying digital media.

“I think it fits my artsy taste,” Granados says. “I’d like to develop my artistic skills both on canvas and the computer … I’m mostly excited about the attention and quality of education I’ll receive in every subject.”

After DU he hopes to earn a master’s degree in landscape architecture.

When discussing his future, he quotes Albert Einstein, who wrote: “Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”


Comments are closed.