Five Minutes with Scholar Andrew

Andrew SolanoCollege: Stanford University
Year: Junior
Major: Public policy with a concentration in healthcare and minor in data science

Tell us about your journey to college.
I’m proud to have come from a low-income, minority, single-parent family from the South Side of Chicago. I applied to college knowing that I would be the first person in my family to receive a college degree.

That’s great to hear! With that in mind, what has Dell Scholars meant to you?
About a year ago, I decided to take a quarter off from school in order to organize my future aspirations, focus on my mental health, and spend time with my family. I had my doubts before making my decision, but Dell Scholars was with me before, during, and after my leave of absence. I returned the following fall and hit the ground running. Dell Scholars supported me in making possibly one of my best decisions.

Now that you’re back at Stanford, what do you enjoy most?
The endless opportunities on and off campus – to meet and befriend amazing people from across the globe while also learning from professionals who are genuinely devoted to their respective fields of study.

What about away from school – what’s one of your hobbies?
I absolutely love playing and watching basketball. Whether I want to de-stress, get in a nice workout, or have fun, basketball is it. You can find me frequently looking for a pick-up game on-campus and back home.

Thanks Andrew, we really appreciate your time. Last question, what advice do you have for your fellow Scholars?
For several years of my life I was afraid to share my background and the obstacles I overcame in my life. I’d encourage my fellow Scholars to embrace their adversity because it’s what will motivate them to continue striving – for themselves, their family, and their community.