An ordinary day turns extraordinary for TJ Senior Christina Danek.
by Vince Crespin
photo by Manny Perez
February 16th started as a usual Saturday for Christina Danek.
On her way home from her volunteering job at the Dumb Friends League, Danek felt sleep deprived, physically exhausted and in need of a shower. This all changed when she entered her house and saw a large white envelope on her table with the official Boettcher seal, addressed to her.
Danek immediately realized that she was one of 40 students throughout the state of Colorado who would receive this scholarship. “When I saw the envelope I was shocked. 72 finalists were interviewed, and 40 were chosen from there. I really was not expecting to get it,” explains Danek.
The Boettcher family started the foundation in 1937, and has been donating money for different causes since that time. The scholarship was designed to provide full tuition to any Colorado university, so that award recipients will not have any substantial travel costs related to college for those four years. The reason the Boettcher family began the award was to keep Colorado’s top students within the state instead of losing them to the Ivy League schools or other premier schools in the nation. Although there is no set value for the scholarship, consider this: Danek has chosen the University of Denver, the cost of which for one year is $42,903, including room and board. Danek will be attending DU for four years, which totals out to $171,612, of which Danek will not pay one cent.
“The first time I heard of the Boettcher Scholarship was when my older brother Nathan applied for the award. He did not receive it, but I guess since my freshman year the thought of the award was always in the back of my mind. I guess since my freshman year, the challenge has always been there for me to work towards. It’s been a kind of guideline for my high school years…I was kind of always semi-consciously working towards the point at which I would apply for it,” said Danek.
Being the stellar student that she is, Danek had her pick of colleges throughout the nation. Since she is originally from New Hampshire, Danek was attracted to the idea of going to Dartmouth, as well as a number of other top-notch schools throughout the Eastern region of the country. She considered greatly the possibilities of attending Northwestern University, located in Illinois, as well as the University of Rochester in New York, where her brother Nathan attends. Once Danek received word about the Boettcher award, she narrowed the list to her top Colorado Universities, CSU and DU.
“The prospect of attending Northwestern was appealing because I have always had a sibling rivalry kind of thing with my brother, and Northwestern and Rochester are huge rivals,” explains Danek. However, after much consideration, she selected DU. Some of her reasons were the availability of a variety of majors and minors at DU, as well as the quality of education in comparison to other Colorado universities. Although she is not 100% sure about what she wants to major in, Danek feels that computer science would be of interest to her, as well as a possible journalism major. Since Danek selected DU she is very happy and has also chosen to live at home instead of the dorms, those first few years.
“I realized early on that, as I would have two other siblings in college by the time my first year came, paying for college would be up to me, whether that meant working or getting scholarships. I am thrilled and very honored that I was awarded the Boettcher, because it has opened up so much for me. I’m looking forward to the new challenge of college. I’m ready to see what I can do out in the real world,” said Danek.