I’m Alexi Cortez, a senior from Mission, Texas studying Business Honors and Marketing. When I first got to UT, I had the dream of becoming an orthodontist and owning my own bakery. I had lived my entire life in the bubble that is Mission, Texas. But, getting to UT, specifically as a Forty Acres Scholar, quick exposed me to other passions, possibilities, and perspectives. I quickly found myself more interested in technology and disruptive innovation as well as community work and education. Within my freshman year, I dropped my dream of becoming an orthodontist and pivoted to pursue a new passion within the tech industry. Since freshman year, my new interests have shaped my college experience. I have now gone to work at Facebook and will be working there full time after graduation. Additionally, my interest in youth education led me to co-found a non-profit mentorship organization with scholar Micky Wolf designed to increase community engagement among middle school children. The exposure to new perspectives at UT also inspired me to travel as much as I could in my time here. Since being at UT, I have studied abroad in Hong Kong, gone on my birthright trip to Israel, and will be spending this fall in Scotland. My time at UT is coming to an end, and although I’m not ready for this chapter in my life to come to a close, I will forever be grateful to UT and to the Forty Acres Scholarship Program for giving me the best years and friendships of my life.
Business Honors; Marketing
Business Honors Program
Facebook Internship (Summer 2016 and Summer 2017), Texas for Expanding Opportunity (Founder and Co-President), Maverick Laces (Owner), Kappa Kappa Gamma
What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program (FASP)?
On top of a full-ride to an incredible school with a top-ranked business program and great athletics in an awesome city, what really drew me to the Forty Acres Scholars Program were the people. I have always been a dabbler – always curious and interested in different things. When I first met the Forty Acres Scholars at Finalist weekend, it was clear to me that it was a group of brilliant, talented, and respected people all with different interests. Whether they were artists, political advocates, athletes, leaders, or entrepreneurs, I knew it was a group I wanted to be a part of; a group I could learn from that would allow me to continue to dabble in my varied interests and challenge me to try new things. Looking back now as a senior, the scholars are by far my favorite part of being in the Forty Acres Scholars Program.
Favorite FASP Memory?
In the spring of 2017, I planned a magic show fundraiser for a nonprofit organization I founded with another scholar. The fundraiser ended up involving several of the other scholars. My co-planner is a scholar, our star magician is a scholar, my co-founder also a scholar. The show was a huge success and I not only had the help of several scholars with the planning of the show; but the majority of scholars as well as the Forty Acres staff were present at the show. I was so honored to have had received all the support I did and I knew the show would not have been a success without the help and support of the Forty Acres Program.