- El Paso Independent School District
Student Spotlight: Andrew Griñé, Coronado High School
(CORONADO HIGH SCHOOL – Jan. 27, 2023) – Andrew Griñé – one of El Paso ISD’s QuestBridge Scholars – is headed to Northwestern University this fall on a full-ride scholarship. The Coronado drum major and mariachi has earned numerous accolades for his skills on the trombone including earning a spot in the Philadelphia International Music Festival’s virtual master class as a sophomore. Griñé, who is among the top 2% in his class, is featured in this edition of Student Spotlight.
EPISD: How did you feel when you opened the email from QuestBridge?
Andrew Griñé: On the day decisions were released I was very nervous, especially since I waited all day to read my decision so that I could open it with my family. Before I opened the decision, I was very nervous and anxious because I didn’t know how the results would be, but once I saw my decision, I was super excited and felt very relieved that I would not have to keep worrying about the college application process.
EPISD: What does being matched with Northwestern University mean to you?
AG: I am very honored and excited to have been matched with Northwestern University because I have worked very hard throughout my years in school so that I can pursue all of my artistic and academic passions in college. I am honored to have been chosen to attend a university that will allow me to continue to study my creative and academic interests and that I have received a full-ride scholarship so that I may pursue my passions without worrying about the financial burden of college.
EPISD: What made you want to go to Northwestern University?
AG: Northwestern University was my first-choice school. I found Northwestern to be a very appealing school, not only because it is a top-tier university, but also because it offers the benefits of a large school, since it is in the Big 10 Conference. While searching for colleges, I wanted to go somewhere with a good music program that would also allow me to have the academic freedom necessary so that I could double or triple major or have multiple minors so I could maintain my various academic and creative interests in college. Northwestern’s academic environment promotes its students to pursue multiple majors and minors and I found the leeway in course schedule to be very appealing. I also have family who live in Chicago, so I was interested in staying closer to familial connections.
EPISD: How will being a QuestBridge Match make a difference for you?
AG: Having matched through Questbridge allows me to attend a school that will help me pursue all my interests without having to worry about paying for college. It will especially make a significant difference for my family, who won’t have to worry about paying for my education.
EPISD: What activities are you involved in at Coronado?
AG: At Coronado, I am in the International Baccalaureate program. I am also a drum major and play trombone in the band. I also play double bass in the orchestra, guitarron in the mariachi ensemble, and sing in the choir. I am the secretary for my school's National Honor Society and Key Club. I am also involved in the Future Farmers of America and my school’s High-Q team.
EPISD: What are your career goals and how will QuestBridge help you achieve them?
AG: I am not exactly sure what I want to do career-wise, but would like to find work as a freelance musician and video creator. I also have numerous other scientific interests which i may pursue as part of my future career. QuestBridge will help me achieve my goals by allowing me to study the multitude of things I am interested in without worrying about paying for my education. It has also allowed me to further my career goals by allowing me to make connections in the Chicago metropolitan area by attending Northwestern.
EPISD: What do you look most forward to at Northwestern University?
AG: I look forward to living in the Chicago metropolitan area and near Lake Michigan. I am super excited to expose myself to the wide array of opportunities available to me and to pursue my artistic interests in the art scene of Chicago.
EPISD: How will Northwestern further your career goals?
AG: As a research institution that offers a wide array of disciplines and promotes studying various subjects, Northwestern will allow me to pursue my interests by allowing me to pursue all of my interests. Northwestern also has one of the top communications schools in the country and my intended major is in the School of Communication. Being in the Chicago metropolitan area will help me make career connections and establish myself in the Chicago art scene.
EPISD: What other top scholarships are you currently in the running for or have received?
AG: Currently, I am also applying for the Gates Foundation Scholarship.
EPISD: What are your honors and achievements in high school?
AG: As part of the band, orchestras, mariachi ensemble, and choir at Coronado we have received various awards and recognitions as first division and regional and state qualifying and award-winning ensembles. This last year, I have been a drum major for the marching band, and I am the orchestra president. I have also qualified for the all-region band, jazz band, orchestra, and choir ensembles and have qualified for the Area band, jazz band, orchestra, mariachi, and choir competitions. I have also received a first division ratings for my solo performances in the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest. My sophomore year I also qualified to participate in the International Science and Engineering Fair.
EPISD: Why has it been important to you to get involved in school?
AG: It has been important for me to get involved in school because I wanted to participate in the musical opportunities which my school has to offer. I enjoy playing music with my friends and it has been significantly important for me to get involved in every musical ensemble my school has to offer.
EPISD: What have you been doing outside of school activities?
AG: Outside of school I have been involved in the El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestras for seven years, the El Paso Youth Jazz Ensemble for four years and the El Paso Society for Musicians of the Future for three years. I also enjoy painting, writing music, video editing, and gardening in my free time.
EPISD: What advice would you give students interested in applying for QuestBridge?
AG: I would advise students interested in applying for QuestBridge to begin the process early and reach out to the teachers who will be helping in during your application. The application is a lengthy process, so don't give up and keep working hard.
EPISD: Anything you’d like to add?
AG: I am immensely grateful to have been selected for this scholarship and the opportunity to attend Northwestern and am super thankful for all my family, friends, and teachers who have helped me to be where I am today.