Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

BHS’ Ivy Knudsen earns prestigious Daniels Fund Scholarship

April 11, 2019 | Education

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

The wait is the hardest part.

For Berthoud High School (BHS) senior Ivy Knudsen, the wait for word on whether or not she would receive the prestigious Daniels Fund Scholarship proved to be the “longest 42 days of my life,” in Knudsen’s words. “I don’t think my anxiety has ever been higher,” she said of the period between her final interview and the announcement which she was only told would come “in late March.” 

Ivy Knudsen

After going through the lengthy application and interview process, in which the BHS faculty offered what Knudsen described as “enormous support and help,” she received the letter packet informing of her selection as a scholarship winner. Knudsen said she “checked the mail box every day,” and outlined a story about her father checking the mail box one day, seeing a large envelope from the Daniels Fund, where upon Knudsen raced home from BHS to tear open the packet. Originally reading the letter to her parents, Knudsen said when she realized she had been selected tears of joy and a period of disbelief followed.

Knudsen will be the first in her family to pursue a college degree, saying, “It’s a big deal for my family,” and that when word was received she was selected both her parents were overcome with emotion. Knudsen said it took a while for it to sink in, “It didn’t feel real,” she explained, but once she informed her friends, family, teachers and staff at the school, the gravity of her accomplishment sank in.

Provided annually to students in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, the Daniels Scholarship is a comprehensive, four-year college scholarship that provides financial support to graduating high school seniors, “who demonstrate exceptional character, leadership, and a commitment to serving their communities,” according to the organization’s website.

Knudsen has been involved in a plethora of activities including the BHS student council where she serves as student body president in addition to serving as her class president since her sophomore year. She is involved in the ham radio club, MESA, the National Honor Society, and Knowledge Bowl and Sources of Strength, a student-mentoring program at the school. Not one to sit idle, Knudsen also works at Hays Market.

Furthermore, Knudsen works as an activist fighting against pollution and environmental degradation. She explained she’s not one to walk past a piece of trash on the ground and ignore it. She works to help clean up the community, even going so far as getting recycle bins installed at Berthoud Elementary School. Her activism is something the Daniels Fund panel found particularly impressive.

Knudsen will attend the University of Colorado in Boulder where she will pursue a course of study in astrophysics. Knudsen explained it took her only about a week after receiving word she won the Daniels Scholarship to decide on CU.

“I chose CU because I want to study astrophysics and aerospace engineering and that’s their niche, and they’re leading the nation in their programs and it’s really convenient. It’s an hour away from my house, and it’s in-state tuition, and it’s a wonderful campus. I love it,” Knudsen said. “Their whole program is just amazing. If there was a school better for it I would have gone there, but you honestly can’t get much better than the best school there is an hour away.”

Always adept at math and science but never really falling in love with any single discipline within it, Knudsen said it was BHS science teacher Scott Kindt who spurned her love of physics and astroscience. 

“What really sold me on it was my sophomore year we did a night astronomy event at the school and Mr. Kindt taught us about all the constellations, and we did this big packet and we did geophys(ics) and it was just so much fun. I just had such a good time,” Knudsen said. “I was so excited the whole time we were looking through the telescope at all these constellations and these galaxies and nebulas and stuff and it just excited me so much, I was like, ‘this is it!’”

Knudsen, who is originally from the Los Angeles area and came to Berthoud in sixth grade, said, “Berthoud High, oh my gosh, I can’t even begin to thank this place enough. I don’t even know what kind of a person I would be if I hadn’t come here.”

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