Scholarship Recipient Spotlight: Daniel
For a young man who went into recovery early in his life, an Ammon Foundation scholarship is helping Daniel get closer to his dreams. The Ammon Foundation has not only enabled him, an aspiring teacher, to pursue his educational goals, but it has also given him the freedom to spend his time doing what matters to him: helping to create a community on campus at Illinois State University.
He explains, “Many of my decisions have been restricted due to financial reasons. Having been awarded money from scholarships allows me to worry less about paying back student loans, and more on doing things that matter.
”Entering rehab at 17 years old, Daniel was lucky to have caught his addiction fairly early in life. Although at first he protested going to rehab, he now says he’s grateful that the experience led him to learn more about himself and his addiction. “My decision to stay sober and work a program in AA has been the best decision I have ever made,” he says. “It has allowed me to go much further in life without the grasp of addiction weighing over me. Being a sober high school/college student hasn’t been easy, but there are countless gifts that I have been awarded.”
Sober since April 2014, Daniel knows that his recovery is still important. “Addiction is a disease that needs constant work,” he says. In the past, addiction has hindered his ability to pursue education and he has, at times, had to prioritize his recovery commitments over school. But that hasn’t stopped him from working hard to get an education while actively maintaining his recovery. For him, school is important: “I believe that education is one of the biggest privileges we have in our modern society,” he says.
“Obtaining [an education] has been an experience of growth and learning,” Daniel says. “Although the subjects I have taken are vast, I can find correlations with my own sobriety and spirituality in almost all of them.”
One of the biggest hurdles for Daniel, and many others, in accessing education has been financial.
“Finances have always been a hurdle for me,” he says. “Financing my education has been a costly affair, but one that I today think is worth every penny. My goal is to become a high school teacher and to be a source of inspiration and hope to my students,” he says.
He considers himself very fortunate to have been awarded the scholarship, “I am extremely grateful for my award. Many people know that school is expensive, but few consider how this impact students,” he says. Daniel is studying Technology and Engineering Education and is expected to graduate in May 2019.
Our blog regularly features the profiles of Ammon Recovery Scholars, and more information about the program and application can be found here.