Michael says he is motivated by his parents’ strength and diligence, and hopes, one day, to have the opportunity to do for them, as they have done for him and his older sister.
“My parents urge us to pursue every opportunity we are given, because they do not want us to have to work in the ways they have to work. They don't want us to lack in things that they do, or have to worry about living from paycheck to paycheck because we didn't take advantage of our opportunities. They sacrifice everything to support us, and I want to pursue higher education to repay them for their sacrifices.
Born and raised in Georgia, he is preparing for college and concerned about how the financial burden of his education will impact his parents who are already in the midst of helping his sister with her college expenses. Another major concern is the handicap he faces by living in what he describes as an “extremely rural area.” There is no wireless internet connection there, and he worries about how he will be able to complete his schoolwork, since most of his assignments require a digital connection.
Despite these obstacles, he remains steadfast in preparing to pursue a higher education. Currently a senior at Morgan County High School, his academic achievements have earned him membership in the National Honor Society and International Baccalaureate program. He is also an AP Scholar with Honors and received the Georgia Certificate of Merit, an award sponsored by the University of Georgia that recognizes students who are in the top five percent of their class.
Outside of academics, he participates in his school’s Student Council and International Club, volunteering for both local and global charity initiatives, such as The Pulsera Project that sells handwoven bracelets to support Central American communities. His other extracurricular activities include being in the marching band for three years and playing Soccer, making the Georgia High School Association Region 8’s 3A, All-Region Soccer Team.
After high school, he plans to study Sciences in college, with the ultimate goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
Last July, he was one of 200 top students who were invited to attend the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s 2019 Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) at the University of Southern California. YLI is a four-day, overnight program that gives outstanding Latino rising school seniors the practical tools they need to set a course for success in college and career. He was especially grateful for the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers from similar backgrounds, and for the ways YLI empowered him to help make college a reality.
“Being a part of the HSF network, he said, “gives me hope that there is a chance that I will be recognized academically in the future. Then, I might be able to afford the college I want to attend and take the burden off of my parents, after they have given so much.”