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Steven Santoyo wants to bring out the best in young Texans

Steven Santoyo, ’19, is a community builder, an advocate and, most importantly, an optimist. He is committed to bringing out the best in others because so many people have helped bring out the best in him.

Steven is the first person in his family to go to college. “Applying to a big university like The University of Texas at Austin was a little daunting. Would I succeed there? But the positive role models I’ve had and generous support from others inspired me to never quit,” he says.

“I was very fortunate to win a scholarship at UT, which was vital to me,” he adds. “It was a confirmation of all the hard work I’ve put in.” And Steven has used that support to pursue his dreams, including becoming a lawyer.

“My world has been completely changed by one university, it’s not something that can happen without the help of others.”
He chose to major in communication studies and pre-law because he is passionate about using community engagement to change lives. Promoting a life of self-empowerment started for Steven when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 13. He gained strength in educating himself and others about it, and at UT he founded Type Texas, UT’s chapter of the College Diabetes Network.

He even had an opportunity to work on Capitol Hill during his senior year, interning for U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey on the Congressional Diabetes Caucus. He was one of several Explore Law graduates accepted into UT’s competitive Archer Fellowship.

As a proud UT graduate, Steven is ready to give back to his community, teaching middle school with Teach for America Dallas/Fort Worth. His message to his future students: “‘I believe in you.’ Those words can change a kid’s life.”

After two years with Teach for America, Steven plans to attend law school. He envisions himself on the front lines, making a difference at the policy level.

“My world has been completely changed by one university,” he says. “It’s not something that can happen without the help of others.”

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