Kianna Gray’s Daniels Scholarship Surprise!

Let’s hear it for senior Kianna Gray, the winner of the prestigious Daniels Scholarship!


Senior Kianna Gray appearing absolutely ecstatic while posing at a Daniels Scholarship awards event! Photo referenced from Kianna Gray.

From competing in speech in debate to participating within student government, the exceptional academic achievements of senior Kianna Gray are truly admirable. Yet, her academic success does not just reside in the classroom, but can also be found within various scholastic outlets. 

Gray was the only individual from Air Academy High School to win the prestigious Daniels Scholarship, which offers $100000 scholarships to students planning on attending a two or four year university within the United States. 

The Daniels Scholarship was founded by Bill Daniels who was an esteemed entrepreneur and fighter pilot in both World War II and the Korean War. Following his service, Daniels established the Daniels Fund in 1996 where he has granted thousands of students the opportunity to pursue higher education without the burden of cost.

This scholarship helps students like Gray to pursue higher education without the interference of financial aspects. The Daniels Scholarship not only covers college or university tuition but also contributes to dining, housing, and schoolbooks. This can be tremendously beneficial for students who want to continue their education but do not have the financial means to. 

With this, what do the students of AAHS think of her accomplishments?

“I am ecstatic that Kianna won the Daniels Scholarship! I couldn’t be more proud! She works so hard, I’m glad it has paid off. There’s no one more deserving of this scholarship than her,” senior Nathalie Rogers noted. 

As Rogers remarked, Gray’s continuous drive to excel has allowed her to demonstrate academic excellence and win the esteemed Daniels Scholarship. 

In regards to students, the staff members are also incredibly proud of Gray’s exceptional work. 

I want to say that I am very proud of Kianna and all of our Kadets that are awarded scholarships!  We have the best students at Air Academy and seeing them get recognized for all their amazing accomplishments is one of the best things about working here,” AAHS college and career counselor, Erica Riggs, stated. 

Taking this into consideration, how did Gray actually win the Daniels Scholarship? Was it solely based on her academics or did it depend upon her community involvement and greater social impact?

It was a three stage process: application, essays, and interviews. The requirements to apply were: be a graduating high school senior,  resident of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, or Wyoming, unweighted GPA of 3.0+, show of financial need, and there was a minimum SAT or ACT score,” Gray commented. 

Gray was able to achieve this through her astounding involvement both within her extracurricular activities and in the Colorado Springs community. For instance, Gray participated in a variety of activities ranging from student government to American Sign Language Honor Society to even Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA)!

From her continuous dedication and involvement, along with winning the prestigious Daniels Scholarship, Gray’s future is incredibly bright. 

“This year I intend to finish my associates in political science, and then upon graduation, I want to attend either George Washington or American University (I am still deciding which but have been accepted to both) to finish out a degree in the realm of government and law as well as take ASL interpreting classes at Gallaudet University. My eventual career goal is to be a legal interpreter for the Deaf (the people who sign in courtrooms) and perhaps a lawyer,” Gray remarked. 

Gray’s impressive accomplishments in high school are just the beginning of her potential. Not only is her future filled with prosperity, but Gray intends to make meaningful change in this world, especially within the deaf community. So, let’s hear it for the phenomenal efforts of Kianna and a round of applause for her winning the respectable Daniels Scholarship.