Jorge Torres joined ACES while at Clarksburg High School. He juggles three part-time jobs while pursuing his associate’s degree in biological sciences at MC. The Mary Pat and Darren Alcus ACES Pathway Champions Scholarship he receives will follow him to the Universities at Shady Grove to complete his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park Biological Sciences program. He then plans to take a gap year to build his résumé and prepare for the dental admissions test.
Why did you join ACES?
Throughout my high school career, I knew college was the right decision. However,
my parents knew very little about the college education system. ACES provided all
the necessary support and guidance to help me continue my educational pathway. The
ACES program has always offered relentless support at both an educational and
List three adjectives that describe the impact of ACES on your education?
Empowering, vital, inspirational
Who is/was your favorite teacher (or professor or coach) and why?
My Biology 150 professor, Professor Jennifer Capparella, is by far the best professor I have ever had. I am incredibly fortunate to have had her for my first science course at MC. She solidified my decision to be a biology major. She has always shown great interest in the well-being of her students, and she always went the extra mile to help everyone she encountered. Being her student has truly been a rewarding experience.
Fill in the blank: Because of ACES. . . .
I feel empowered to begin the next stage of my educational pathway.
In your wildest dreams, what does the future look like for you?
I would have finished dental school and specialized in pediatric dentistry. I would have helped pay for my siblings’ education and I would have given my relatives jobs.
What’s the best advice you’ve received from your ACES coach?
“If you really want it, go the extra mile because there will always be another person who wants it just as much as you.”
Who is your role model and why?
My current employer, Dr. Usa Bunnag, owns her own dental practice in Montgomery County.
I admire her because she has a similar background to mine and she is also an
What does success feel like to you?
It feels like happiness because my parents overcame great obstacles so that I can attend college. Their strength gives me motivation to pursue higher education.
If your ACES donor is reading this, what do you want him or her to know about you?
My family and I truly appreciate the tremendous help you have given us. This act of kindness will never be taken for granted. Passing this act of kindness to another student when I become older is a dream I have decided on. The strength and inspiration you have given me makes me feel boundless.