Elizabeth High School senior wins $100K scholarship

Daniels Fund award goes to Avery Martinez

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Elizabeth High School senior Avery Martinez recently won the prestigious Daniels Fund Scholarship worth $100,000.
 
According to the fund’s website, The Daniels Scholarship Program provides the opportunity for highly motivated students from Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming to earn a bachelor’s degree that helps them build a successful career and rewarding life. Daniels Scholars demonstrate exceptional character, leadership, and a commitment to serving their communities.
 
Avery is an exemplary student with a 4.02 grade point average. She is also involved in several extracurricular activities and works a part-time job. Avery played on the varsity volleyball team as the libero and ran varsity cross country. Currently Avery runs for the varsity track team and competes in the 400m, 800m, 4x800m, and 4x400m races. Throughout her life, she’s also played basketball and rugby.
 
In addition to her sports endeavors, Avery is also in the Chick-fil-A Leadership Academy and is involved with the EHS chapter of the National Honor Society. She’s also volunteered with The Serve, a nonprofit organization that provides meals 365 days a year to those who cannot afford food.
 
Out of 1,500 applicants, Avery was chosen as a finalist, after which she had to do an interview with the Daniels Fund leaders. To prepare for her interview, the Martinez family came together to help give Avery the best shot they could.
 
“I drove Avery to her interview that morning and we had a couple hours to chat. We talked about what they might ask — but more than that she talked about all the memories gone by and all of the things that have shaped who she is today,” said Sarah Martinez, Avery’s mother. “We practiced some questions, but in those final moments before she got out of the truck, I told her to just be herself and that’s who people will love. Once it was done, she came out with a big smile and said it worked. She just showed them the real Avery.”
 
Out of the finalists, Avery was chosen as one of 130 winners from Colorado. Winners can choose any college or university in the United States to attend. Avery plans to attend Grand Canyon University in Phoenix in the fall. She hopes to work toward a bachelor’s degree in either forensic science or biology.
 
In an April 19 interview with the Elbert County News, Avery shared her excitement about winning the scholarship and offered advice for future applicants.
 
Why did you decide to apply for the Daniels Fund Scholarship?
 
“I decided to apply for the Daniels Fund Scholarship because I thought that it would be a great opportunity and I might as well take my chance and see what the outcome may be. I knew that I needed to get started on my scholarship applications at some point, and I decided to get the big ones done and dusted early on in the school year. I was also inspired to apply because one of my dad’s students won last year and he has had some amazing success since he won! I saw firsthand how much the scholarship could affect one’s life and I thought it could possibly do the same for me.”
 
How did it feel to win? What was your reaction when you got the news?
 
“It was so relieving to win because it showed just how much my hard work paid off! Receiving the scholarship showed that everything that I sowed into my high school education reaped so much like this amazing scholarship.
 
“When I found out that I won, I was sitting on my bed with my mom and we opened the application. When we logged onto the Daniels Fund site it immediately said, 'CONGRATULATIONS!’ We we’re beyond excited and immediately called my grandparents and surprised my dad when he got home from work.”
 
What advice do you have for future students who want to apply for scholarships?
 
“My biggest piece of advice for students wanting to apply for scholarships is, do not underestimate yourself. Go for it! I thought that I had no chance at winning the Daniels Fund Scholarship but I was so amazed at how much I was able to accomplish within myself this year. Just simply begin the application process. It is so hard to be motivated to start, however, once you start it is so much easier to finish the application process. You can do great things, simply give it your best shot.”
 
Avery’s parents said they are thankful to the Elbert County community for supporting Avery.
 
“Coming home to Colorado in 2020 (after most recently living in New Zealand for seven years) was such a challenge for our family after being away from home for so long, but finding our place in Elizabeth says a lot about the people here,” said Sarah Martinez. “We have been welcomed and loved just as if we have lived in this small town our whole lives. We want to say thank you to the people of Elbert County for loving our girl the way they do. We hope this win will honor the community as well.”
 
“Avery is an incredible leader,” said Chris Martinez, Avery’s father. “We know that whatever she does she will not only make us proud as parents, but our Elbert County community proud as well.”
 
For an Elizabeth School District news release on Avery’s scholarship win, visit tinyurl.com/AveryMartinez
 
For information on the Daniels Fund Scholarship Program, visit tinyurl.com/ELBDanielsfund
 

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