Meet Daniel: Becoming a Peer Leader Was Life Changing

Alumnus Daniel Perez

PeerForward alumni have followed many career paths and found much success. Here, Daniel Perez shares his journey.

When did you become a part of PeerForward? If you attended a Summer Workshop, please share your experience.

I attended my PeerForward workshop in 2006 at USC. The experience of becoming a Peer Leader was life changing. The just 4-days, I was able to sharpen my skills and, most importantly, create a personal statement that truly represented who I am and where I’m going. All of this preparation, and empowerment, made for really personal applications that helped me secure financial aid.

How did PeerForward help you prepare for college? How has being a Peer Leader influenced your college experience?

PeerForward helped me identify with other peers in my community. By that I mean, it helped me understand that I was not alone – and that all the obstacles I had to overcome, such as being able to afford college, were the same as so many other kinds around me; these are the people who helped me forge ahead, and research scholarships that would turn my dreams into a reality.

Do you have a specific example of how you were able to help a student or peer get to college?

I graduated from an over-populated school, approximately 500 seniors and only two college advisors. As a Peer Leader, I was able to meet regularly with classmates who wouldn’t get much face time with an advisor, if at all, and helped them with all their applications, personal statements and financial aid forms. Just in general, walking down the halls as a Peer Leader created awareness, and a culture where college was the goal.

How did you and your fellow Peer Leaders create a college-going culture? Please share any events, campaigns or programs that you planned for your high school.

My fellow Peer Leaders and alumni established a PeerForward group, who would meet once or twice a week to set goals and deadlines for our peers and ourselves. Together, we would find resources, research scholarships, and hold personal statement writing workshops where we would encourage everyone to share their own personal stories and experiences.

If you’re in college, where did you attend and why? If you have graduated, please share what you are doing now?

I attended DeVry University in Las Vegas, Nevada. I chose DeVry University specifically because I am a part of their multi-cultural scholarship program. I recently enrolled in the Business Master’s degree program, which will allow me to finish my last senior course and continue my education. Simultaneously, I’m working full time as a Commercial Property Manager for a private investor in Denver, CO and am a proud member of PeerForward’s National Alumni Council.

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