Nacogdoches student who received more than $1 million in scholarships: ‘I want to explore my interests’

Nacogdoches student who received more than $1 million in scholarships: ‘I want to explore my interes

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches student who received scholarship offers totaling more than $1 million dollars from several different universities said he wants to take the opportunity to explore his interests, much like he did in high school.

Juan Rubio is part of Nacogdoches High School’s graduating class of 2019. During his high school career, he took a variety of classes that made him a well-rounded choice for universities. Part of that process was taking classes he was genuinely interested in.

“Me personally, I couldn’t ever choose one thing, so I had a lot of different things to do,” said Rubio. “But really that’s the big thing, to let them see ‘wow, you do this and this, you’re a well-rounded person'; I think a lot of colleges really enjoy having well-rounded students that can cover a lot of areas.”

Rubio said he originally planned to attend the University of Texas at Austin, but among his offers, he chose Rice University.

“Rice gave me the most financial aid per year, [$66,000] I think?” Rubio explained. “That’s tuition, housing, board, and a meal plan."

Among his interests, Rubio was a student in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program. Linda Autrey, the director of advanced academics at Nacogdoches ISD, coordinates the STEM program with Stephen F. Austin State University. Autrey said she knew Rubio was destined for something big.

“He’s highly inquisitive, he questions everything,” said Autrey. “Most encounters with Juan with end in a debate, a pleasant debate.”

Autrey said that inquisitive nature most likely helped Rubio achieve the amount of offers he received.

“He does it all. Juan really loves to learn, he wants to know, he questions endlessly,” Autrey noted. “He brings that to everything he does, whether it’s a science fair project which he takes to state -- which he did this year -- or whether it’s advancing in debate and creating really unique and powerful arguments.”

No matter where he chose to go, Rubio said he would declare his major as ‘undecided', to give himself the opportunity to explore all of his options and interests.

“I know Juan has been surrounded by some incredible educators here in Nacogdoches ISD, he’s really kind of found his tribe with other students," said Autrey.

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