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.”
More from this series
A Road Well Traveled
Longhorn donors opened many doors for McCombs School of Business student Lucious McDaniel IV.
Technology and Transformation
Microsoft and UT Austin partner to provide technological solutions across Texas.
To Boldly Go
Aerospace engineering student Mihir Kamble found his passion at UT’s Cockrell School of Engineering.