Three’s Company: AVID seniors, best friends prepare for Daniels Fund interviews


Alonzo Ramirez Navarro

Seniors Ali Lone, Brenden Folsom and Rasheed Garza work together during their collaborative study group on Tuesday. All three will interview for the Daniels Fund next week.

Alonzo Ramirez Navarro, Staff Writer

The  Daniels Fund Scholarship Finalists have been announced. This scholarship is not an easy one to receive considering there are nearly 2,000 people who apply for it. Greeley West has three finalists this year: Brenden Folsom, Ali Lone, and Rasheed Garza. In a crazy twist of fates, the three students are all best friends and are in the same AVID class. Now they all have a chance to win the scholarship, as they get ready for their interviews next week. 

The opportunity to even be selected as a finalist are slim and the fact that Greeley West has three finalists in the same class is pretty unique.  The three students selected as finalists have been in Mr. David Falter’s AVID class since freshman year.  Garza said the scholarship was on his map for years.  “I was shocked when I found out about being a finalist for the Daniels Fund. Mr. Falter preached to us since freshman year that it was a very competitive scholarship and how it would be the best scholarship to get. It is an amazing feeling knowing that out of my friend group, one was a Boettcher semifinalist and the two of them are Daniels finalists with me,” Garza said.

This friend group has success written all over them. “We have all spent countless nights studying and worrying about school together and it’s great seeing that all of our hard work throughout the years is finally paying off,” Garza said. 

This whole process is no easy task and can be nerve racking. Folsom said applying for competitive scholarships can be overwhelming.  “It’s exciting for sure, but the interviewing process is very intimidating. The last few weeks we’ve been preparing for them, so I feel a little better. But there’s still a ton of pressure to do well. I’m definitely excited about being selected as a finalist, but I don’t want to celebrate until the interviews are over and I’ve done everything I can to hopefully win the scholarship,” Folsom said.

Folsom said it helps to be in the company of other finalists frequently.  “It’s awesome being able to share this experience with my friends. I’m so excited for their success and the chance for them to become Daniels scholars. It means a lot to me to be able to prepare together to make each other better. Thankfully we won’t be competing with each other for a chance at winning so we can all work together to do our best when it comes time to interview,” Folsom said.

A lot of hard work is required to be where these three students are and they each said it was a community effort. “First up I’m very proud to be representing Greeley West as a finalist and I’m glad I can do that with two of my close friends. I’m also thankful to all my friends and teachers … because we didn’t get here alone and it took a lot of work to get up to this point,” Lone said. 

Lone also said that having three finalists can hopefully build a buzz about the scholarship for under classmen.  “I hope other West students will see what we’ve done so far and see what’s possible for themselves too. I’m excited for the next steps we have as finalists and the opportunity to hopefully bring it home,” Lone said.