Damian Joseph Manrique Scholarship Fund
The Damian Joseph Manrique Scholarship Fund has been set-up by his mother, Jessie Banuelos, and family. Damian was a soul with the confidence to push above and beyond. In the face of trials and tribulations, he never once let those hardships pull him down.
From elementary school to middle school, Damian struggled to translate his intellect into his schoolwork. He averaged C’s and D’s, and to his teachers, he seemed he would never have a successful academic career. Shrouded in doubt, Damian never surrendered to this predicament. Instead, he wore his heart on his sleeve and pushed until he could be in the right position. This is when he reached high school and blossomed into the intelligent man he was.
Damian graduated from Salesian College Preparatory in 2015 with his grades in the top ten of his class. A’s colored his grades, and if there was ever a B, he doubled down and worked until it joined the rest. All this hard work was done with one of the worst burdens a person can shoulder: the struggle with chronic illness. Day and night, Damian’s health was never steady: one moment, he seemed healthy; the next, he was suffering through migraines and fatigue. Never once, however, did he let his illness define him. To him, only his own soul could define who he was.
Damian used everything in his mind and body to live the life he yearned to have. What could have been a life of bedrest and despair was instead a life of adventure and hope. At Salesian, he discovered his interests in life: he loved competitive games, he loved piano, he loved football, dancing, and the creative space of writing. He discovered his identity: he enjoyed playing games of all kinds with friends and family, he built a unique sense of independence that could carry him around the world, and most of all, he found trust, pride, and love in who he was and forever will be.
Creating a living legacy of Damian Joseph Manrique, this scholarship fund is for students to have the same opportunity Damian enjoyed as a Salesian student. Damian’s hope is that you come home each day with a smile in your heart, knowing that you are just starting to become the person you were meant to be.