When is a Forty Acres Scholarship more than a Forty Acres Scholarship? When students take their impact worldwide.
Brian Chavez, recipient of the Stamps Forty Acres Scholarship supported by Lana Jones and Will O’Hara, used his enrichment stipend — a supplement to the scholarship’s tuition support — to travel and provide clinical care in the Dominican Republic and Tijuana. “I’m dedicated to providing compassionate and culturally specific care as a medical provider,” he says. “Since I want to return home and practice medicine in largely Hispanic South Texas, it’s important for me to practice my medical Spanish and work with diverse Latinx populations. Without my scholarship, I definitely wouldn’t have traveled. Those opportunities required funds to support my goals and confirm my dreams.”
Two important figures in Brian’s journey to UT are Dr. Nolan Perez, a UT alumnus from Brian’s hometown, and his sister, Janelle. “Ever since Janelle started shadowing Dr. Perez — one of the only people from my hometown to go to UT and then become a doctor — attending UT Austin has always been my dream.” When his sister received a Forty Acres Scholarship, Brian realized financial barriers didn’t have to be a dealbreaker. “If it wasn’t for seeing my sister receive that support, I don’t think I would have set my sights on UT. But I’m glad I did — UT and this scholarship gave me everything I needed to go into medical school and become a physician.”
At a boot camp before his first semester at UTHealth Houston’s McGovern Medical School, Brian reflected on his UT experience. “The education I received at UT fully prepared me for success. Seeing how my UT experience and network have changed my life and propelled me to where I want to be is something I’ll cherish forever.”
Brian’s message to anyone considering investing in scholarships? “They should 100% do it! There’s a ripple effect when you invest in students, because you’re also investing in everyone they will go on to help.”
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