Scholar Profile: Finding mentors in special places

Author: Ryan Milburn

Felix Mayorga Avarez

Just last year, Felix Mayorga Alvarez ’19, was a senior in high school working two jobs, juggling school and extracurricular activities, and preparing to become the first person in his family to attend college. “I would go to school in the morning, leave class early, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to my second job from six until 10 and then do homework when I got back home,” Felix remembers. “It was hard to get enough sleep.”

When Felix found out that he’d been accepted to Notre Dame, he was excited, but immediately concerned about how he would be able to afford it. “It was a pretty life-changing moment when the financial aid package came in,” Felix says. In just his first semester as an AnBryce Scholar, Felix experienced another life-changing event: meeting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “Getting to talk with her privately and connect with her was really amazing,” Felix recalls. “Socioeconomically, we’d been in some similar, difficult stages. Just to know that someone has worked their way through hardships and that I now have the same opportunity is incredible.”

Felix feels that overcoming adversity in his youth will help prepare him—and his fellow AnBryce Scholars—to become the leaders of tomorrow. “We’re better equipped to persevere through obstacles; we have the flexibility to be able to deal with whatever comes our way. AnBryce is all about that.”

Sarah Kubinski contributed to the editing of this story.