Brandi Bundy awarded coveted Daniels Scholarship

Mancos senior recognized for community work

As a high school student, volunteer firefighter, and part-time employee at P&D Grocery store and the Mancos Valley Inn, Brandi Bundy is a girl who fills many roles. She will fill a new role in the fall as a Daniels Fund scholar.

Brandi Bundy, a high school senior, was recognized for her work in the community last week when she received the scholarship, which that will cover any expenses that are not covered by other scholarships or financial aid.

"It's still unreal," she said.

Bundy contributes her success, in part, to the extensive guidance she received from Chrissie Miller, the registrar, and Jessica Adams, an academic adviser for Trio Talent Search, a federal program that helps students apply for college.

The two helped Bundy prepare to tell her story after she was selected as a finalist through regular mock interviews leading up to Feb. 21, when she was given 20 minutes to make her case.

"I'm not the type of person that likes to brag about myself," Bundy said.

But spending two-and-a-half years in foster care helped give her a passion for giving back the community, and she does that as a volunteer firefighter.

"I always wanted to give back to people I never knew because I let people do that for me, and I know how it feels," she said.

Even during the school day, Bundy carries her pager and has worked it out with her teachers to leave class to respond to a fire.

Bundy plans to attend the University of Northern Colorado in the fall, pursue a degree in sports medicine and become a paramedic in part because of her experiences with the fire department.

"The fire department has taught me about who I am, and I can do things if I set my mind to it," she said.

Adams works with many students in Mancos and Cortez who are first-generation college students or who live in low-income families from middle school through high school, and she was certain Bundy would receive the scholarship.

"We looked at pretty much who she was and said, OK, this is a Daniels Fund (scholar), how do we make you shine a little bit," Adam said.

Adams works with most of the Mancos senior class each year. Last school year, she worked with 13 students, and all enrolled in college, which is the main goal of the program.

The program also works with students to navigate financial aid and scholarships and a Daniels Fund Scholar has been named from at least one of the six regional high schools with Trio Talent Search advisers for the last three years.