By Lee Snelling, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations
As a fundraiser, I am often asked, “How do you go about your job? How on earth do you fundraise?” The simple answer is, by building relationships. Fundraising is not a science. And it is not something that needs to be overcomplicated. Rather, it is all about getting to know people and making connections. My ‘why,’ though, derives from wanting to support and help students. Though being 19 years into my career, I still acutely remember the struggle of funding my two degrees. It is the memory of my experience that provides me with the passion to do my work.
That is where the story of Daniel Padron enters, and why I decided to share it with you. Daniel is a wonderful young man. Passionate. Driven. And oh, so very likable. You cannot help wanting to support a person such as Daniel. It is for that reason that I feel his story is one that needs to be shared.
Daniel is a first-generation college attendee. His pharmacy journey began during his early years at UGA. While majoring in chemistry, he had the opportunity to work in a retail pharmacy. It was during that work experience that he realized what he truly wanted to pursue as a degree – a PharmD. Daniel shared, “I immediately fell in love with what pharmacists had to offer to patients and the important role that they play within the healthcare team.” Since then, Daniel has completed three years of the PharmD program, earned a master’s in business administration, interned at Johns Hopkins Hospital, been a student leader in APhA and Kappa Psi, and found time to get engaged to fellow PharmD, now graduate, Morgan Easterling ‘21.
I relate to Daniel’s story as a first-generation college attendee. I understand the challenges that this unfamiliar path can pose. Daniel describes it well. “As a first-generation student, I had to adapt to a culture that was different from the one that I was born into. With the odds stacked against me, I constantly reminded myself of the sacrifices that my parents made, which fueled my motivation to achieve things that I never would have imagined.” It is that motivation that makes Daniel such a special young man.
Daniel’s parents immigrated to America from their homeland, of Mexico, with the hope of providing their children opportunities to achieve their dreams. Since arriving, his parents have tirelessly worked in carpet mills often under harsh conditions. But again, their sacrifice is not lost on Daniel. He shared with me, “I like to think that my success is their success. I would not be where I am today without their continuous support and sacrifices.”
Upon completion of his PharmD, Daniels plans on pursuing a health-system pharmacy administration and leadership (HSPAL) residency. He believes this two-year program will provide the adequate skills and training needed to obtain a leadership position in a hospital pharmacy. From there, Daniel has the lofty aspiration to eventually move up to an executive position within a health-system. Considering his driven nature, I would not doubt him!
Most recently, the University wrapped up the Commit to Georgia Campaign. During the course of the eight-year campaign, the College of Pharmacy raised more than $27 million. Through the generous support of our alumni and friends, these funds will benefit students such as Daniel. If you have any interest in supporting the College and our students, our team looks forward to building a relationship with you. Together, we are PharmDawg Strong!