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Attempt Great Things for God

May 2023

BYU student Kennedy Daniel poses in front of a building while on a study abroad in Europe.It was early on in her study abroad that Kennedy Daniel came across a quotation on a lectern in London’s Westminster Abbey: “Attempt great things for God.” Those five words changed everything that came after that moment.

“Throughout my time at BYU, I have been constantly reminded that God is aware of us and often supports our ambitions and our plans toward reaching our potential in this life,” she says. “It gives me courage to remember that all we are asked to do is our best—academically, spiritually, within our families, and in the professional world. Collectively, we can accomplish great things.”

Daniel grew up in a lower-income community near the border in South Texas. She came to BYU in 2016 with an eye on making a difference in the world. Then she served a mission, found her way to the Marriott School of Business, worked for the Ballard Center for Social Impact, and discovered information systems.

“The Ballard Center totally expanded my mind for what social impact could look like,” she says. “I realized information systems gave me opportunities to use technology for social impact. It’s a really fun space to be in.”

When Daniel learned about a European study abroad program focused on studying the industrial revolution, she thought it would be out of her price range, but she applied anyway. Because of the pandemic, her first two attempts resulted in cancellations. In 2022, she finally got the green light, but there was still the issue of finances.

“I was working three jobs the semester before,” she remembers. “Right around that time, my mom got COVID-19 for the second time and was unable to continue teaching elementary school. She’s a single mom, and family is one of the things that’s most important to me.”

Daniel approached her professors and told them she was going to come up short on the cost for her study abroad, and they told her to apply for a Global Opportunity Scholarship.

“During the interview,” she says, “I felt really inspired when I learned about all of the generous people who support students like me. Learning about the community support had a big impact on me, and I left excited by the idea that one day I can do the same for other students who feel that going on a study abroad is out of their reach.”
With the additional funding, Daniel made it to Europe, and the experience changed her life. She traveled to the United Kingdom and then to Italy. She built relationships with people in both countries, saw how technology impacts lower- income groups, and developed bonds with class- mates and professors.

“It had a big impact on me,” she says. “We toured the World Economic Forum, and my experience there completely changed my perspective on the potential paths for my career. It inspired me to continue learning about the intersection between technology, environment, social factors, awareness, and measurement of impact as we innovate and push new technologies forward.”

After her graduation in April 2023, Daniel is headed for an internship with Disney Tech. But she says that someday she hopes to take her career overseas. “There are so many cool opportunities, especially internationally,” she says. “I will be forever grateful for the opportunity that I had to participate in study abroad and for the people whose donations helped me get there.”

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