NEISD senior garners $1.2 million in scholarship offers

Brandon Vazquez Munoz’s AVID program helps secure a full-ride scholarship to Cornell University

Brandon Vazquez Munoz celebrates a full-ride scholarship to Cornell University (NEISD)

SAN ANTONIO – A Johnson High School senior is celebrating a full-ride scholarship to Cornell University.

Brandon Vazquez Munoz garnered the scholarships, which total $1.2 million, through his AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) course. Vazquez Munoz, a first-generation student, will study mechanical engineering at the Ivy League university.

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“I think going to college for free is everyone’s dream,” he said.

The AVID program is directed toward high school students who desire to attend college. The program does place an emphasis on underserved students. For Vazquez Munoz, the amount he received was surprising.

“Honestly, I did not expect this,” Vazquez Munoz said. “I was hoping to get something, but over a million, I was surprised. I think I owe a good portion of my success and everything I’ve achieved to AVID.”

The program encourages students to seek scholarships on their own, while providing a clear line of access to apply for scholarships. The renowned Bill Gates Scholarship will provide Brandon with more than $320,000.

“Coming into this, I didn’t know much about college,” Vazquez Munoz said. “The AVID program does a really good job of explaining things and walking you through the process. With scholarships, for example, I was made aware of way more scholarships than I could have found on my own. It feels really nice to have support behind you and to know you’re not in this alone.”

Vazquez Munoz joined the AVID program his freshman year. For him, the support the program offers him has been valuable.

“It feels really nice to have support behind you and to know you’re not in this alone,” he said.

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About the Author

Mason Hickok is a digital journalist at KSAT. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a communication degree and a minor in film studies. He also spent two years working at The Paisano, the independent student newspaper at UTSA. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys the outdoors, reading and watching movies.

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