At the end of 2022, Daniel Rodriguez (BMath ’22) wrapped up the final term of his undergraduate degree in the Mathematics/Chartered Professional Accountancy (CPA) program. Hard work and perseverance got him through his studies — most of which happened during the Covid-19 pandemic — but a little help from donors in the final stretch certainly didn’t hurt.

Last fall, Daniel received a bursary from the Faculty of Mathematics Undergraduate Scholarships Fund, which is funded in part by monthly donors and provided to math students who are experiencing financial difficulties.

“I’m paying all my university expenses on my own,” Daniel says. “I have five siblings — and university tuition adds up. My parents encouraged each one of us to find ways to cover the cost of our education.”

Studying in the co-op program allowed Daniel to finance his studies while also gaining valuable hands-on experience in the accounting field. But with living expenses and food costs rising steeply in recent years, the bursary was a much-needed leg up, especially as Daniel prepared to enter Waterloo’s Master of Accounting program in January 2023.

“It gives me peace of mind knowing that I’ll be able to use this award to pay down some of the expenses of the rest of my undergrad and master’s program. I want to thank donors for their generosity. Your contributions to these funds go a long way to helping students like myself.”

Looking ahead, Daniel is excited and a bit nervous to launch into the next phase of his journey: completing his master’s program and challenging the CPA CFE exam before he steps into a job with “Big Four” accounting firm Deloitte in September 2023.

Eventually, he hopes to be in a position to pay donors’ generosity forward. “Students will always have a need for help and support, and even a little bit goes a long way,” Daniel says. “You don’t want money to be the reason that someone can’t pursue an education. That's just not a valid reason, in my opinion.”