“I want to obtain a meaningful and fulfilling career where I contribute to the progress of society,” Julio Membreno says, “I want to help my family rise out of poverty and make a better life for myself.” It is those ambitions, as well as a thirst for knowledge, that have motivated him to pursue a college education.
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, he says that the cost of attending a prestigious out-of-state college has been challenging, even with a scholarship. However, he worked through high school and continues to work in college, in order to achieve his educational goals. By serving as a resident assistant at college, he has been able to not only offset some of the cost, but also give back to the college community.
Now in his senior year at Boston University (BU), where he is a Mechanical Engineering major, Julio hopes one day to start his own company in the renewable energy sector. For now, he is taking advantage of the opportunities offered by BU, both inside and outside the classroom. In addition to being a resident assistant, he is also a member of Boston University Consulting Group and Music Network, and plays on the intramural basketball team. He is a Sigma Chi fraternity brother (in BU’s Upsilon chapter) and a member of the Accenture Student Empowerment Program. And, In keeping with his career plans, he is also a founding member and vice-president of the BU Cleantech Club and a member of the Entrepreneurship Club.
He attended the inaugural HSF Entrepreneurship Conference for HSF Scholars and describes it as a life -altering experience. Among the aspects he particularly valued were the opportunity to meet speakers he characterizes as “extraordinary,” who shared their knowledge and wisdom, as well as connecting with other Scholars with whom he continues to stay in touch. “I learned a lot from the conference” he adds, “and was inspired to pursue my goals during a time where my motivation was running low.”
This past November, Julio was one of 100 Scholars invited to attend the HSF Media & Entertainment Summit—an annual conference that exposes HSF Scholars interested in the field, to diverse career opportunities and specialized knowledge from industry insiders—yet another opportunity to add to his network and to meet others with whom he shares much in common.
“Being part of the HSF network means being connected to hundreds of other students who are just like me,” he said, “who understand the struggle of being a Latino college student, many first generation who come from poor backgrounds like me.”
His advice to others is to make the most of their college experience and to not let their challenges discourage them from trying. “If you are given the opportunity to attend college and can afford it, do it. Do not doubt whether it is the right decision; it is.”