After just one week at The Ohio State University, Ignacio Muñoz was confident that he made the right choice when choosing which university to attend.
A freshman at Ohio State, Ignacio is proud to be a Buckeye because he knows that the university will provide him with a current platform to build upon all aspects of himself as well as become a future springboard to propel him into his career and adult life. Although he hasn’t decided on a major, Ignacio is already impressed by the resources and opportunities provided to every student that enhance their success. “Ranging from counseling services to caring staff and knowledgeable, approachable faculty to hundreds of clubs, every Buckeye can fit in and really make Columbus their new home.”
Along with his acceptance to Ohio State, Ignacio was awarded the university’s Morrill Scholarship, given to students who show commitment to both academics and diversity by excelling in the classroom and making a positive impact in their communities. Morrill Scholars also have shown their advocacy for equity and access by contributing to those around them. When he found out that he had received the Morrill Scholarship, Ignacio felt both joy – because his hard work had paid off – as well as motivation. “I had been given generous resources and aid, and thus I must do my utmost to create, hopefully, more of the same for others.”
Ignacio’s motivation fit in well with what he says is the unofficial motto of Ohio State: “Pay it Forward,” a philosophy that he has long held. In the summer of 2014, Ignacio designed, planned, and implemented an ACT Boot Camp for Adelante! Hispanic Achievers in Louisville, Kentucky. Adelante is a Latino non-profit organization whose mission is to empower Latinos and the community through supportive services, education and advocacy for children and families. Ignacio initiated contact with Adelante for funding and worked to enroll participants, who were rising senior and junior members of the organization; he also served as the boot camp’s leader. The boot camp offered test strategies and content to help raise participant’s ACT scores. The event was so successful that the director of Adelante invited Ignacio to implement another camp in the summer of 2015. That same summer, Ignacio was a guest teacher at Zacarías Guerra Educational Center for Orphans in Managua, Nicaragua, where he taught classes on science, math, and social studies for students at the center.
“Every person, culture, and organization has a different mindset, and I have discovered that there is always something to learn from others.”
As an Office of Diversity and Inclusion Morrill Scholar, Ignacio serves as a diversity leader at Ohio State and knows well the importance of diversity, having lived his entire life under its beneficial influence. “My parents are from Central America, but I grew up in the U.S. and attended a diverse downtown high school with other races, genders, and orientations.” He also advocates for diversity at the university so that everyone – students, faculty, and staff – can benefit from a melting pot of ideas and values.
Ignacio has yet to decide what he will major in at The Ohio State University, but whatever career path he chooses, he only wishes “to be a cultured, successful, and compassionate man.” Based on his determination, motivation and pay it forward attitude, Ignacio is already well on his way to meeting those goals.