For as long as I can remember, I have loved getting lost. I remember the first time that I purposely got lost (I would later find out that this is commonly known as “exploring”). My family and I were walking through Mexico City’s Coyoacan neighborhood early in the morning, and I was beautifully overwhelmed by the barrage of sounds, sights, and smells that were hitting me all at once. We were on our way to meet a family friend for lunch, but I wanted to investigate the causes of these senses. All of a sudden, 10-year-old Diego decided to stop walking, let his family unknowingly leave him behind, and fully take in everything that his environment had to offer. The ladies kneading dough to make conchas, the vendors setting up their snack carts, and the nice old lady that helped crying Diego find his parents after he got tired of his adventure, are all memories that still stick with me. A few years later, I learned that what I loved about getting lost was the opportunity to learn new things and explore, and since then I have done my best to explore as much as possible. Whether it was physically travelling to Europe or Central America with a local nonprofit, SOS San Antonio, or emulating a Middle Eastern Arms Talk through Model United Nations, exploring and learning about new places, ideas, cultures, and subjects have been an integral part of who I am.
It was my passion for exploring that led me to the Texas Diaper Bank one morning; it was my passion for exploring that led to me learning about the importance of diapers in a baby’s health; and it was my passion for exploring that led to me creating a diaper donation drive as an SOS San Antonio business intern. Exploring, and the curiosity that drives my need to explore, have exposed me to new people, presented me with unique opportunities like a summer internship (that would help me find my passion for business), and helped me see a side of the world that I live in that I would have never otherwise seen. I will never stop exploring, and I cannot wait to spend the next four years doing just that at The University of Texas at Austin.
Canfield Business Honors Program
Other Academic Interests
What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program?
Community. Throughout my college search process, I was torn when it came to deciding the type of school that I wanted to attend. I was impressed by the amazing resources that large universities offered to their students, but was also in love with the idea of being in a tight-knit community of students at a smaller college. Going into Finalist Weekend, I knew very little about FASP, but coming out of it, I knew that it would allow me to join a tight-knit community at a large university with some of the most amazing resources offered to college students anywhere in the country. Aside from getting unlimited, free access to one of the premier educational experiences in the world, I would get to join an intimate community of unique individuals, I would join a family. I said "unique" and not "like-minded" because one of my favorite things about FASP is that every Scholar is different from the next. Some come from big cities, some come from small towns, some want to be rocket scientists, and some don't know what they want to do yet. That diversity, coupled with a tight-knit community, come together to create an unparalleled experience, one that I could not pass up.
What makes your Scholar cohort unique?
I don't think any other cohort got to bond so much, so quickly. COVID canceled our trip to Camp Texas, so we rented an Air BNB and explored Austin together for three days instead. We've spent a total of five days together in person, and in that short amount of time we have learned how to two step, gone cliff diving, cooked meals for each other, and gotten lost in downtown Austin.
Favorite FASP memory
Eating P Terry's at Mount Bonnell with my cohort is easily my favorite memory. We were all starving after having spent the morning exploring downtown Austin. We decided there was nothing more that we wanted than to have a picnic. I still remember the collective gasp that we took as we saw the view from the top of Mount Bonnell.