When Capitan senior Stephen Ellison saw his brother David’s unsuccessful attempt at getting a Daniels Scholarship, he wasn’t sure how much of a chance he’d have.
But he tried anyway, and now he’s not only a Daniels Scholar, he’s also a future student at Berklee College of Music in Boston come the fall.
Ellison, who saw his athletic career at Capitan High School cut short after suffering an injury during the Class 3A State football championship at Eunice in December, has also been plying his trade on the drum kit for the Tiger marching band, following in his father Wayne’s footsteps as a musical talent.
That talent got him into Berklee, but being able to pay for it was another.
That’s where the Daniels Fund came in.
The Daniels Fund awards scholarships to graduating seniors in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming each year.
More than 2,200 students applied this season, including Ellison. Only 238 earned scholarships, 30 from New Mexico.
As a Daniels Scholar, Ellison was able to attend any accredited nonprofit college or university anywhere in the United States, although Ellison had already made up his mind.
“I had to audition on the drumset for Berklee,” Ellison said. “I liked it because a lot of schools don’t let you try out on drumset. I knew it had a great reputation too, so I figured I’d try out.”
A Daniels Scholarship is meant to cover expenses that remain after other scholarships and educational aid have been applied.
“These young people have demonstrated the character, leadership, and commitment to serving their communities that define a Daniels Scholar,” said Linda Childears, president and CEO of the Daniels Fund. “Our goal is to help each of these scholars succeed in college and ultimately become independent, successful in a rewarding career, and actively engaged in their community.”
This story contains a quote from a press release from the Daniels Fund.