Ignacio Cruz, The University of Texas at Austin

Ignacio CruzIgnacio Cruz is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin whose leadership is exhibited through campus-wide initiatives involving global development in Ghana and China and the promotion of undergraduate research. Ignacio serves as President of Students in Partnership for Development in Ghana and recently traveled to Accra, Ghana in summer of 2014 to facilitate projects with current community partners. Through his involvement with Advocates for Youth, Ignacio serves as a Youth Ambassador for HIV prevention in the U.S. and internationally and hosts annual HIV prevention drives on the UT campus by creating partnerships with student groups and Austin-based organizations. Additionally, Ignacio, who is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, founded and directs the Undergraduate Research Association and is President of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Citizen Scholars. Ignacio was recently awarded the Texas Exes President’s Leadership Award for his leadership contributions to student-life. He is also a recipient of the UT-Austin Tower Award for Outstanding Student Leader.
-William Powers, President

Despite the hardships that I have faced since my freshman year at UT—when I arrived from a low-income, disadvantaged public high school in the Rio Grande Valley as the first in my family to graduate from high school and pursue an education—I have found a way to exceed the expectations that others set for my success. I have enabled students just like me to create their own path of success as Longhorns; specifically, I have drawn on my passion for international development to inspire my classmates and to create bridges among communities at UT Austin. My vision is to create a future free from prejudice—a break from unequal social and cultural injustices. I believe that through education, passion, and self-innovation, I can help create a future free of glass ceilings and bridge gaps of access. I see myself on the UT campus as more than a student—I am a mentor to countless students, devoted leader to my organizations, proud son to my humble parents back home, and an agent of change for my community.  
-Ignacio Cruz