Aaron R. Escato
- Gender: Male
- High School: Del Rio Early College High School
- Hometown: Midland
- State: Texas
Aaron, an only child, was born and raised in Midland, Texas. His mother is also from Texas, and his father, from Mexico. His mother did not have the opportunity to continue her education past high school, and today, works as an assistance provider. His father, a self-employed landscaper, did not have the chance to remain in school beyond the third grade.
Because their own educational opportunities were so limited, and his father had to support the family by doing manual labor, they pushed him to stay on the path to higher education, as the means to creating a bright future for himself. “Both of my parents have instilled in me the responsibility and importance of obtaining an education, well beyond my high school diploma,” he said.
Currently, he attends Del Rio Early College High School, which allows him to take high school and junior college courses, concurrently. Last year, he was recognized for maintaining straight A’s in several college-level courses and as a further reflection of his academic achievement, was invited to join the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
Aaron is also an active member of his high school’s robotics team, and serves as captain of the electrical subgroup. He was vice president of his junior class and has participated in events and activities sponsored by the Student Council, Future Business Leaders of America, the National Honor Society, and the National Technical Honor Society.
In June, he was one of 152 students selected to attend the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s 2018 Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) at The University of Chicago. YLI is a four-day, overnight conference that gives outstanding Latino high school juniors the practical tools they need to set a course for success in college and career. He saw it as a unique opportunity.
“Coming from an only-child, single-parent, and small town setting has left me feeling a little bit disadvantaged in this increasingly modernized, globalized, and socialized world. I believe that this opportunity to join a national network of individuals who come from similar backgrounds as myself, will provide me with the insight, instruction, and relationships that will serve me well when stepping out of my narrow perspective and into the broader real world of high education.”
He also seeks to give back to his own community and does so through involvement in an after-school tutoring program at a local elementary school. He and his peers serve as role models and assist students in grades two to five, with homework. He also volunteers with the local National Park Service in the nearby Amistad Lake area, participating in Junior Ranger and family days, as well as the community’s first archaeology fair.
Aaron plans to pursue a degree in Science and ultimately hopes to find a career that is challenging and “provides an outlet for both creativity and adventure.”
For other students contemplating college, he advises taking an even, considered approach, and to be bold when asking for help. “Do not fear the need for outside assistance, no matter how stubborn or shy you and your family may be,” he says. “Counselors, advisers, even friends or acquaintances who have seen the process themselves can provide abundantly useful information and advice for moving forward. Above all else, maintain a steady goal outlook, remember and relish the experiences you have had and the ones that are bound to come, when pursuing this incredible and beneficial milestone in a young adult's life.”