Austin High senior to attend Caltech on prestigious scholarship

Antonio Monreal, a senior at Austin High School, has received the prestigious QuestBridge Scholarship and with it early admission to the California Institute of Technology, one of the most exclusive universities in the United States.

The scholarship will pay Monreal’s full tuition, room and board and other expenses to Caltech – a university that has lower admittance rates than schools like Harvard and Stanford. He is only one of four students nationwide to receive early admission to Caltech.

QuestBridge last week announced the 657 scholarships it will award this year to exceptional students with above average academics and outstanding test scores who come from low-income neighborhoods. Monreal said the scholarship makes Caltech – his first choice for college – a reality.

“Caltech is the center of innovation in the United States. It’s where all technology comes from,” he said. “I think it’s the place for me.”

Monreal has not yet decided on a major, and he is considering chemical or materials engineering, mathematics and physics. Whatever route he takes, he says he wants to make a difference in his community.

“I want to change the world. I want to do more for people and give back to my community,” he added.

Austin Principal Craig Kehrwald said Monreal’s story is extraordinary not just because of his academic prowess, but also because of his language barriers. Monreal enrolled at Austin four years ago after moving from Juárez and speaking no English.

Within two years he exited the English as a Second Language Program while taking advanced math and science courses.

“Antonio epitomizes everything that is right with our education system,” Kehrwald said. “I am so proud that an Austin High graduate will continue his education at such a prestigious university.”

Author: El Paso ISD