Victor is a senior at Strive Prep Smart High School and is excited to attend Colorado State University this fall. Though he's sad to leave his family in Denver, his mom promises that she'll come up and cook for him!
Why is going to college is important to you?
You get to explore new careers and network with others. It’s also about having fun. I’m excited to study with others and teach each other things. Ultimately I can help out others.
Why did you decide to apply to AO?
I decided to join AO because of the opportunities they give us. For example, the counseling and networking events and all the support my counselor provides. I wouldn’t have this otherwise. My counselor keeps in touch with me and checks in to make sure I am doing my school work and also focusing on my future – and I appreciate the reminders.
What do you like most about the AO program?
I enjoy the people the most. I feel welcome. And all the guests we meet, everyone is there to help us out. They truly care about us and our future. I liked meeting Ryan Harris. He gave us good advice. But everyone gives great advice and contributes to our learning.
How is AO making a difference in your life?
AO has taught me to take advantage of everything. When I first came in, I knew there was a lot of opportunities, and I felt selfish because I was taking advantage of everything. But AO has taught me that’s a good thing. They’re there to help.
Tell us about some of the activities you’re involved in.
National Honors Society and soccer. I started soccer at 7 years old and have played Varsity all through high school. I hope to play soccer in college to meet people and get out there! I also joined the Freshman Mentor Program junior year to help them with expectations of being a freshman. It’s so different from middle school. Seeing a role model really helps them.
What advice would you give to younger students?
Take advantage of all opportunities you find. It’s always worth trying. Even if you get rejected, it’s a learning experience. Another piece of advice is to get involved. When you isolate yourself from others, it’s hard to take advantage of opportunities that will help you.
Who is your biggest role model?
My mom simply because she is always working hard. She dedicates all her time to us. She supports us, even when she doesn’t understand. Especially when it comes to college. She tries to help.
What are some ways you want to give back one day?
One way I can help out is through my job. I believe if I do something with health, like become a dentist or doctor, I know I am going to help out a lot of people – creating connections with people. Whatever job I do, the most important thing is to go to my job and feel satisfied – because I could say, today I helped this person and that person become better versions of themselves.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Mexico because I haven’t been there. My parents married at 20 and less than a week later, they decided to move to the US and then I was born a little later! And just hearing what people struggle with in Mexico without all the opportunities, I want to see that and see how people are affected. I want to visit my parents hometown south of Mexico City. I want to see where they grew up and see where the problem is coming from. It helps me be thankful for what I'm lucky enough to have. And so thankful that I was born here and have the opportunities I have.
What's a defining moment in your life?
Choosing to go to CSU – it's gonna be a dramatic change because I'm used to being in Denver and living at home – I going to be an independent person and instead of relying on my mom, I'm going to bond with new people. I've been at such a small school where I know everyone. It's going to be a challenge meeting new people at CSU, but I'm going to enjoy it.