Grateful Web Student David Chen x

Ripple Effect

Dell Scholar David Chen, B.S. ’20, sees his scholarship as first wave of positive change.
Grateful Web Student David Chen x
Walking to class on his first day at UT, David Chen was struck by the crowds crossing Speedway and the magnitude of the campus. Rather than feeling anxious, he felt hopeful.

“That was an eye-opening moment,” he said. “It just made me think about all the endless possibilities that were offered on campus.” David, who attended a small private high school near Houston, added, “It also made me really happy because in those crowds I saw a lot of diversity and people who were like me.”

David’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from China and he was the first in his family to attend college. He shared that once he was admitted to UT, he worked diligently to secure grants and various loans. But he checked his inbox one morning and his life changed.

“The subject line said, ‘Congratulations,’ and I had to reread the email several times. I couldn’t believe it,” he said. David was awarded a substantial scholarship through Dell Scholars, a college-completion program created through the generosity of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. He would have the financial and individualized support he needed to be successful.

“It’s a ripple effect . The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation didn’t just help me receive an education. They helped my family and our future. My younger sister can now see my experience and know that she can do it, too.”

“Because I didn’t have the burden of shouldering so much debt, I felt able to focus on my studies and serve in campus organizations I cared about,” he said. David excelled in class and majored in Human Dimensions of Organizations within the College of Liberal Arts. A newfound confidence led David to become a Dell Scholars Ambassador so he could help other students like him.

Today David knows his UT degree helped him land a good job with a tech firm in Austin during such a challenging job market. Down the road, he aspires to work for an organization focused on education.

“It’s a ripple effect. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation didn’t just help me receive an education. They helped my family and they are going to help our future. My younger sister can now see my experience and know that she can do it, too.”

Grateful

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