"This scholarship means so much to me. I'm so incredibly thankful." - said winner Jordan Danks.
"I'm hoping to make people's lives better," says Jordan Danks, the winner of Nitro's inaugural $5,000 scholarship. "That really makes me happy--knowing other people are happy because of something I've done."
The Plateau Valley High School senior has goals, and the most immediate one dates back to second grade: go to college. "I've always had people say 'oh, it's too expensive but it's never really stopped me. I've always known I wanted to go to college, so that's what I was always going to do. I told them I'd figure it out somehow."
From Collbran To College
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, but raised in Alma, Nebraska, Jordan arrived in rural Collbran, Colorado just last year. Her graduating class numbers 18, and she's quick to point out the advantages this offers. "The teachers always have time to help you out and they all know you. You're not just another face. They know who you are and how you're like. That's definitely helpful." Jordan plays volleyball, runs track, and in her spare time she likes to write. "I want to be an author one day. Right now I write short stories about anything."
Jordan hopes to attend Colorado Mesa University this fall, where she will study nursing. "My mom's been a nurse my entire life and I've just enjoyed helping people, so that's the perfect job for me to be able to do that."
Knowledge Is Her Power
"Nitro has definitely better prepared me for college," affirms Jordan. "As a student paying for college on her own, this scholarship is helping me achieve my dream."
Jordan did thorough research on potential schools--and how to pay for her education. "I had no idea that there were so many different types of loans you could take out, and Nitro has helped me figure out which are best for me."
What did she find most challenging about the college application process? "Writing the essays was pretty hard. I don't really know how to make people like me--how to sell yourself to the college."
Jordan gave special attention to universities that reached out to her via e-mail. When she began considering potential schools, there were two factors that refined her search: "I chose colleges on cost, obviously, for one part of it, and then how small they were. I don't really want to go to a giant school because I've always been small town, and CMU, well, they feel like a family, they're all so close. I really like that."
The Future Starts Now
Does she have any advice for freshmen and sophomores thinking about college? "Definitely start early! You should focus now and get good grades, try to pick out your colleges so you kind of have an idea of what you need for them, and then fill out as many scholarships as you can."
When asked how her best friend would describe her, she needed just one word: persistent. And that's quite a good thing to be when you have goals like Jordan's. "By the time I'm 30 I'm hoping to have my nurse practitioner license to be a traveling nurse."
Topping her list of international destinations: Italy. "I've always wanted to go there--Florence. I'm just going to travel the world and do all kinds of things."
We know you will, Jordan.
Nitro will award a $5,000 scholarship every three months. All you have to do to apply is provide short answers to three online questions. Plus, you also have a chance to earn a $1,000 scholarship by telling your friends about us. And be sure to tell them to include your name when they apply. If one of your friends wins the the 5K, you'll win the 1K!