RUSD is proud of several of our seniors who have been accepted to Ivy League Universities. We are spotlighting this week Ricardo Cuautle from Nogales High School and Dylan Kang from Rowland High School, both who will be walking the halls of the infamous Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
When first meeting Ricardo Cuautle, you can see the curiosity and determination in his eyes. His love for math began at a young age but it was his first business course at Nogales High School that began his interest in the field of finance. Ricardo was selected to participate in the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership program and the prestigious Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s Youth Leadership Institute (HSF) at USC.
“HSF really helped me find myself and my purpose to help others. I had so many ideas! I really wanted to inspire more students to take advantage of the AP programs on campus and increase access to college information.” This led him to found the AP Scholars Club on campus and co-found a College Connect Club that is tied with the District’s College Connect program.
“I remember when I met Mrs. Kim and Mr. Ricardo with College Connect and they first asked me what my dream school was. USC and UCLA were the only two I really knew of.” He also was selected as a Questbridge College Prep Scholar. “Questbridge was another resource for me to connect with and learn about top universities and institutions from across the country.”
During the summer before his senior year, he was admitted to Dartmouth Bound, an all-expenses paid fly-in program at Dartmouth. It was this program and support from his HSF mentor that truly pushed him out of his comfort zone, to meet new people and for him to begin to visualize that attending an ivy league university was possible. “My mentor would discuss the large network of friends that he could rely on for help at college and that is what I wanted in a school, resources and opportunities that would be available to me.”
Ricardo is also a scholar athlete, having participated in both cross country and track and is co-captains of both. He earned the Montview League Scholar Athlete award, along with other honors including the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Awards (bronze recipient) and the Equitable Excellence Scholarship, where he will receive $5,000 a year for the next four years toward educational expenses.
His first acceptances came in from Notre Dame and Dartmouth. “It was an amazing experience to travel there and walk on these huge campuses. It was also nice to experience something new... climate! It was constantly changing, cold, raining and it even hailed with thunderstorms!” Although he enjoyed the trip, he could not see himself as a student on either of these campuses.
When he was accepted and received a full scholarship to the ultra-selective Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, he felt that this would be the place where he could truly make an impact.
“Financial problems were always a barrier for me and that’s why I want to be more financially informed so these problems don’t happen to me. But then I realized it is not just for me, but for my community overall. My drive is to help others. I see everyone struggling and I feel like this opportunity to go to the Wharton School of Business would be a waste if I didn’t take it. It is really important for me to give back to my community. I am really looking forward to the connections I can make, that is why I chose UPenn.”
"There is nothing generic about Ricardo; authentic and unapologetic. He is an anomaly full of surprises who should never be underestimated! He is limitless," said RUSD College Advisor, College Access Liaison and Co-Founder of RUSD's College Connect program.
Advice to Nogales Nobles: “Take risks and don’t fear failure. As one door closes, another one really does open. At first I didn’t want to go to college, I feared it. But now I am really open to it – I still fear it – but you have to endure it and push through it!”