For Uriel De La Rosa and Brittany Sanchez Gomez, receiving the Richard Castro scholarship was a decisive moment that paved the way for them to attend Texas State University. Meeting Distinguished Alumnus Richard Castro was icing on the cake.
For both students, meeting Mr. Castro was an impactful experience that gave them clarity and confidence in their academic pursuits. They recognized similarities between their story and his story of perseverance, and they were encouraged by his advice.
“The conversation was very fruitful I would say,” said De La Rosa, “a lot of the things that he said really connected and hit home.”
Mr. Castro’s advice and discussion were inspirational to De La Rosa. He plans to use the advice to succeed during his undergraduate educational experience and eventually in graduate school.
“It’s really going to help me in the future in the competitive fields that I’m trying to get into. It’s going to help me overcome any obstacles,” De La Rosa said. “It was really inspiring.”
Sanchez Gomez was not expecting to meet Richard Castro, but she was happy that she had the opportunity to speak with the distinguished alumnus.
“The way he gave his background story kind of impacted me because I can relate to it,” said Sanchez Gomez, “I felt very important. I felt very valued. It was a very wonderful experience, and I am very grateful for this opportunity.”
About the Students
Uriel De La Rosa is a sophomore psychology major from Denton, Texas. He likes to study people, and he plans to study those affected by the criminal justice system.
“There’s a warm place in my heart for people who have fallen victim to the criminal justice system, who aren’t necessarily understood,” he said. “So what I plan to do is study people, study their brains, study why people behave the way they behave in hopes of helping others understand those who aren’t understood.”
Since starting at Texas State University, he has succeeded in academics, and he is heavily involved in extracurricular activities. De La Rosa has earned his way on the Dean’s List for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, and he is currently the Social Chair for LULAC & Event Coordinator for JOLT at Texas State.
The scholarship has afforded De La Rosa, a first-generation college student, the chance to pursue his goals.
“The opportunity Texas State offered me was one that I didn’t ever expect,” he said. “I was blessed to be able to have my schooling paid for and to have mentors available to guide me on my path to success. Being first generation, this is making my life a whole lot easier.”
Brittany Sanchez Gomez is a freshman psychology major and criminal justice minor from Brownsville, Texas. She has always been fascinated with the human brain, and she has a specific interest in the criminal brain.
“I want to go more into depth with forensic psychology, which is more into depth with criminal justice. So the study of the criminal and the way they act,” said Sanchez Gomez
Sanchez Gomez graduated in the top five percent of her high school class, and she received the Star Scholars Excellence Scholarship. Since coming to Texas State, she has been involved with the Running Club and Latinas Unidas Organization.
Aside from receiving the scholarship, Sanchez Gomez had other, more personal reasons to attend Texas State.
“Overall, my number one reason was to make my family proud by getting out of the Valley and become a first generation,” she explained. “Many students down at the Valley chose to stay back home for fear of failing; however, I’m here to prove to them you can do it, if and only if your willing to sacrifice everything for the greater good. Don’t settle for less.”