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Jesus Sanchez-Aguilar

At Crockett County High School near Jackson, Tennessee, Jesus Sanchez-Aguilar served as senior class president, was active in the Beta honor society, and graduated fourth in his class. The first in his family to go to college, he picked the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, over Murray State University in Kentucky and East Tennessee State University. “One reason I chose UT is the location and beautiful surroundings,” he says. “I am interested in the outdoors, and I want to go kayaking. When I visited, it was like, if I don’t come here I will always regret it.”

Sanchez-Aguilar was born in Jackson, the youngest of four siblings. His parents had immigrated from Mexico. “They wanted a better life for me,” he says.

Assisted by the HOPE scholarship, the Tennessee Student Assistance Award, and the Tennessee Pledge Scholarship, Sanchez-Aguilar intends to major in biochemistry. “I’m grateful for the scholarships, because I know that I wouldn’t be able to come to a nice school like this without them.”

“He always has a smile on his face,” says Lisa Howell, regional admissions representative for West Tennessee. “Jesus has been a delightful young man to work with throughout our recruitment cycle. His attitude, sincerity, and humbleness are an encouragement. His personal motto is to work hard and dream big! He is living it well and a great example to others. He will be an asset to our Volunteer family and an inspiring reflection of the Volunteer spirit.”

“No one in my family has done what I’m doing,” says Sanchez-Aguilar. “I want to go to medical school because I’ve always had a passion for helping others, and I think I can do that with my studies and becoming a doctor.”