Gator Student Jose Guzman Wants To Inspire Future Generations
By Sheryl E. Taylor
If you take a casual stroll on the University of Houston-Downtown's campus and take a survey of students, you will be surprised to learn how many of them benefit from such resources as financial aid, a work-study program or scholarships.
José Guzman is one such student.
The 20-year-old Gator, who is pursuing a degree in Biological & Physical Sciences (College of Sciences & Technology), is the recent recipient of the UHD Alumni Association Scholarship Award. The purpose of this scholarship is to assist with students' educational expenses for tuition, books, fees, and/or supplies for one academic semester.
“More than 76 percent of UHD’s undergraduates qualify for financial aid,” said Sandra Jacobson, Manager of UHD Annual Giving. “Combining federal and state aid with our endowed and operating scholarships, we are only able to help students meet 67.7 percent of their demonstrated need. Private support is crucial to keep these otherwise-qualified students on track and remove the obstacle of un-met financial need.”
For Guzman’s college journey toward graduation, this scholarship assisted him being able to add an extra course to increase the momentum toward graduating on time while also fulfilling his intention of inspiring future generations in his family.
“It’s important because my family is filled with smart individuals who’ve never had the opportunity to put their brains on display instead of their brawn,” said Guzman. “My aunt inspired me to further my education and I want to be an example of success to my younger siblings. There are many role models in my family that light a fire in me to pursue anything I want with passion. I’d like to ignite that same fire in my family.”
Guzman is from a family of Gators—his grandmother and aunt earned degrees in teaching and business management, respectively. His mother earned a degree from Houston Community College. With plans to graduate in May 2023, he will pursue a career as a chiropractor or physical therapist.
So, why the University of Houston-Downtown?
“I wanted to be close to home and near my family—they encourage me and help keep me on track to be successful,” he said. “Also, I wanted to be a biology major and a member of UHD Scholars Academy, which has made a difference in my work ethic and provided me with many opportunities that have aided in my collegiate success.” Additionally, Guzman participates in the Sustain Scholar’s Program in which students learn how to make the world more sustainable and how world problems affect global sustainability.
Director of Alumni Relations Dr. Liza Alonzo believed that “Jose was the best choice as a legacy Gator and his strong commitment to academics.”
“I plan to be an active Gator alumnus,” Guzman emphasized. “I hope to inspire future generation to choose UHD and to give back through scholarships, which are helping me achieve my dreams.”
Learn more on How to Give to UHD.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.