Giving Full Circle

Dec 22, 2022

Former Scholarship Recipient Creates Foundation Focused on Student Support

Daniel Trust came to Bridgeport from Rwanda when he was only 15 years old.

While the transition as a refugee was a challenging experience, he was immediately welcomed and supported by many nonprofit organizations in Fairfield County. And he credits the Community Foundation’s scholarship program as a springboard for his current success.

“I think it’s our duty to make sure that we pay it forward and as we climb up, that we help uplift and bring other people who haven’t received the same opportunities along with us,” Daniel said.

“FCCF and nonprofits in Bridgeport welcomed me and offered more support than I ever expected, from mentoring to scholarship and more. I created the Daniel Trust Foundation out of my desire to give back and pay it forward.”

Daniel Trust,
Daniel trust foundation
executive director & Founder

The Community Foundation awards more than $1 million annually to local students through 150 scholarship funds that make the path to college more affordable for students like Daniel.

Daniel was so inspired by his own experience that he vowed to help others achieve their college dreams, and in 2009, he established his foundation while studying business at Southern Connecticut State University.

And in a nod to his own experience, Daniel’s foundation also focuses on providing student scholarships, mentorship and grants to young people in both the U.S. and Rwanda.

“The Daniel Trust Foundation Mentoring Program is a college and career success program that focuses on supporting first-generation and low-income students in three areas: college preparation, career development and financial literacy,” Daniel said. “The mentorship program has a 100 percent success rate of high school students graduating on-time and 93 percent of participants graduate from college within four to five years.”

Daniel hopes his fellow community members will also find their own ways to give back and support their neighbors.

“I am so very grateful and thankful for Fairfield County’s Community Foundation because they are just great partners and what they are doing to help others in the community is just absolutely amazing,” he said.

For more information on student scholarships, please contact Joseph Collin, Vice President of Philanthropy, at

Learn more: