Leo Andrade
Leo Andrade
AIM Foundation Forty Acres Scholarship
Forty Acres Scholars Class of 2026
Houston, Texas
High School
YES Prep Public Schools - Gulfton

Ever since I was a kid, my parents have always taught me to value my faith, my education, and to have humility. Faith is important to value because it gives purpose to your life. Education is important because it makes opportunities come more easily as well as it helps you learn more. Humility is important because through humility is how you show how much you care and it makes both you and others feel better. These three values have opened so many doors for me and I thank my parents for having instructed me to think this way.

By the time I was in seventh grade, I had been doing very well in school and was involved in sports and church, but had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Sometimes I would tell people I wanted to be a lawyer, other times a doctor, and other times a surgeon. I resorted to these options because of pressure I felt that since I did very well in school, I needed to do something that would generate a very high income and was prestigious in today’s society. However, deep down I knew very well that I wanted to do none of those. It was then that one of my closest friends convinced me to download an app called Instagram. Around a month after I downloaded it, I saw an ad for shoes that I thought looked very nice. I clicked on the page and I saw that they posted all kinds of shoes which I immediately fell in love with. Beforehand I never cared much about clothes but once I saw the many different models of shoes and different articles of clothing, I instantly fell in love and never went back. It was then that I realized this is what I could do with my life. I could work in the fashion industry with my biggest goal being to work as a creative director for an already existing company or for my own clothing company. This was when I began researching so many different brands, people, and their stories to find how I can make my own path in a completely different time period. I figured my best bet was to go to school for marketing, gain experience as a marketing manager in the fashion industry, and then start my own clothing brand. Once I figured out my career plan, I needed to find a great school that could help me accomplish these dreams. It was then that I found UT Austin. I saw that it was the best business school in Texas, my preferred state for attending university, it had the option to double major in textiles and apparel, which no other top Texas school offered, and it was a very big school. This to me meant many connections, a chance to grow in both areas of interest, and a home away (but still close) from home. Throughout high school, I joined a few groups and remained in sports and served in church but I now assumed bigger roles. I was the president of student council, the guitarist for the worship team at my church, a student for a graphic design course by the Parson’s School of Design from the New School, and a few more positions within different clubs. But finally, my college search began. I applied to UT Austin knowing I would get in due to my rank but I was still concerned about the financial aid aspect. I come from a low-income family and am a first-generation student with two older siblings enrolled in college as well. I wanted to keep the costs as minimal as possible to help my parents so I was very attentive to how much different schools were willing to offer. And this was when my counselor told me about the Forty Acres Scholarship Program. I applied to it with only a bit of hope that I would end up getting it. I prayed about it and held on to the bit of hope and I ended up proceeding to the semifinals, which meant I needed to try harder than ever to secure it. I prayed and fasted for this opportunity and for help along the way and I managed to make it as a finalist. I prayed more than ever and I fasted once again for God to help me with this opportunity and He ended up delivering. I made it as a Scholar and feel so unbelievably blessed and this motivates me to chase my dreams, remain faithful, continue valuing my education, and continue acting in humility because what I have accomplished is not by my own actions but rather by the blessings God has allowed in my life. I can’t wait to do great things at UT and change the world in the future.

Marketing, Textiles and Apparels

Other Academic Interests
Entrepreneurship Minor

Extracurricular Activities
Looking to join HBSA, Business Council, Christian orgs, guitar/music groups

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program?*
The opportunity to meet and connect with exceptional students, as well as the chance to study at an amazing school for little to no cost.

What makes your scholar cohort unique?
Despite our few encounters, we’re extremely close and we care a lot for each other, and have amazing plans for our future.

Favorite FASP Memory
Staying up late the night before the interviews and talking with some of the scholars about life and having a good time.

What do you want prospective students to know about The University of Texas?
The community is closer and greater than anyone can imagine. Family is easy to find at this school and there is always something to do at UT.