The ILTexas Class of 2022 had several notable college admissions and scholarships received during the Spring. This article is part of our ‘22 alumni spotlight series highlighting their college acceptances.
HOUSTON, Texas – Fernando Quintana was unsure about attending college. The ILTexas Windmill Lakes-Orem High School ‘22 alumnus had his reservations about the process.
“I thought that college was just a financial burden,” he said. “I thought that everybody who went to college was going to go into debt.”
Quintana is grateful for his Academic Success Program (ASP) advisor, Jasmine Campuzano who helped him navigate the college application process. “Thanks to Ms. Campuzano, I learned that there's ways that you can receive help and funding from the state or the school itself.”
Quintana would stay after school with Campuzano where he received help identifying schools that best suited his interests. He applied early decision to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in addition to 12 other colleges. Quintana finally settled on WashU.
After waiting a few months, Quintana finally received the good news. Not only did he get accepted to Washington University, he also received a full-ride scholarship to attend.
“Once I found out about my full-ride, it was indescribable,” he said. “I couldn't believe it. It was like something that you hear about, but you don't really believe that it can happen.”
Quintana is also a first-generation college student.
“I am the first to go to college in my family,” he said. “Both of my parents didn't even finish high school and throughout my whole family, cousins and everything, I will be one of three to go to college.”
Quintana believes his decision is having a positive ripple effect.
“Getting a full ride, or just getting into college, I think has set a bar for my siblings to look towards [or] a goal to have,” he said.
He credits his mother for motivating him to go to college.
“My mom really pushed me through it. She told me that she didn't care if I wanted to do something else in my life, as long as I had a degree of some type,” he said.
Quintana plans to study Marketing and Communications with a focus on Public Relations while in college, with the ultimate goal of becoming a Marketing Director.
“Once I found out about Marketing in the way people produce ads or produce products that targets an audience, it really interested me into thinking of ways that I could do the same.”
Quintana believes ILTexas’ unique curriculum set him up for future success.
“I think the trilingual [curriculum] has been beneficial to me because in the business world there will always be people who don't speak English or who don't speak [only one] language,” he said. “Coming here to ILTexas and learning Chinese, which is the second most spoken language in the world, is really going to help me in the business world.”
When asked what he will take away from his time at ILTexas, Quintana emphasized a key part of the mission.
“Whether you're in a position of leadership or not, you can always strive to take initiative or have tactfulness or think about others before yourself.”
*ILTexas is proud to share stories of our current students and alumni and the exceptional higher education opportunities they have earned. Explore ILTexas.org to learn more about how your student can have these same opportunities.