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EPISD Student Spotlight: Alfonso Ambriz Rivas, Chapin High

(CHAPIN HIGH SCHOOL -- Jan. 10, 2022) — Chapin High senior Alfonso Ambriz Rivas, one of EPISD’s four 2022 QuestBridge Scholars, got matched to Colby College in Maine for a full-ride scholarship. The JROTC cadet command sergeant major is a debater who also enjoys fencing and moderating a YouTube show. Community Engagement sat down with him virtually for the next installment of the EPISD Student Profile. See his take on QuestBridge and being an engineering magnet student in his responses below.

EPISD: What are your career goals and how will QuestBridge help you achieve them?

ALFONSO AMBRIZ RIVAS: My career goals are to do research in chemistry, work within the government or teach students. I believe QuestBridge will help me achieve them by providing me the education necessary as well as the network to seek a future where I can successfully collaborate with others for the better of all.

EPISD: Tell us what you look forward to most when you attend Colby College?

AAR: What I look forward to the most at Colby are the new opportunities and experiences at the global scale with their Davis Connects program. The ability to make use of everything that I have and have fun while getting an education is a big goal, so going to a globally accredited college would allow me that and more. I really look forward to getting to know a diverse environment where smart individuals work together. 

EPISD: What other top scholarships are you currently in the running for or have received?

AAR: Currently I'm competing within American Legion's Oratorical Contest for a scholarship.

EPISD: Tell us about your passion for JROTC and what are some of your achievements.

AAR: JROTC is where I've learned the most about myself. Although I've succeeded in my program by reaching the rank of Cadet Command Sergeant Major, I really believe my achievements lie in the legacy that I have left in cadets. In all, the education and training of the future leaders of America is my achievement. 

EPISD: Tell us about your accomplishments in debate.

AAR: My accomplishments in debate go into domestic extemporaneous speeches and Lincoln-Douglas debate. Although I've not delved into it much, I've led debate to some degree so that others understand the moralities and discrepancies of our society's issues.

EPISD: How has being a magnet student prepared you for college and your future?

AAR: I believe that being a magnet student has prepared me for college by providing me networking skills and academic persistence. Magnet students belong to every extracurricular in Chapin and that provides for an effective communication system between the best and brightest here at Chapin. Furthermore, the engineering background, which it provides, is a great place to start in a STEM pathway. The magnet really gave me a general idea of what I love.

EPISD: Tell us about your passion for education and engineering and how you plan to mix those fields and return to El Paso to teach.

AAR: I have a massive passion for both education and engineering. I personally love to tutor students in my off time and have found myself closer to aerospace engineering through simulators and drones. I hope to integrate such things and inspire students towards such subjects just as my teachers have. In addition, I hope that by the time I come back, NASA has a higher presence in El Paso.  I worked with them as a High School Aerospace Scholar and would love to express that experience to other students.

EPISD: What other extracurricular activities are you involved in?

AAR: I'm also involved in fencing and National Honor Society. I personally love fencing partly due my fascination of movies with sword culture within them.

EPISD: What have you been doing outside of school activities?

AAR: Outside of school activities, I assist my parents in running their own cafeterias in private schools. In addition, I do spend part of my free time moderating for a YouTuber.

EPISD: What advice would you give students interested in applying for QuestBridge? 

AAR: I would tell them to throw themselves at it. It's there to help you in all your efforts and can only make you a better person overall. Don't overthink it. Show yourself and your idealisms. Nothing bad can happen. 


Interview by Reneé de Santos