Out Of 882 Applicants, The Son Of Mexican Immigrants Is One Of 32 Getting This Prestigious Scholarship

Óscar De Los Santos is one of the newest members of the Rhodes Scholar program, one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world. But what makes De Los Santos story different than the 882 other Rhodes Scholar applicants is the fact that he is the son of formerly-undocumented Mexican immigrants and has used the experience to pursue education in politics.

Óscar De Los Santos is one of 32 men and women representing the U.S. in the 2017 class of Rhodes Scholars.

Óscar De Los Santos / Facebook

According to the website, the Rhodes Scholarship is “the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world.” Students and graduates who receive the Rhodes Scholarship are chosen from a pool of applicants that both apply and are endorsed by their respective universities. This year, 882 students from 311 American universities applied for the 32 available spots to study for post-graduate degrees at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

The child of formerly undocumented Mexican immigrants told the Associated Press that he is excited for the opportunity but saddened by the lack of diversity in the class.

Óscar De Los Santos / Facebook

“I would like to express my disappointment that I was the only Latino Rhodes Scholar selected this year,” De Los Santos told the Associated Press, according to Fox New Latino. “I personally know hundreds of talented, deserving young Latinos around the country who would contribute to and benefit tremendously from the Rhodes. I’m disappointed that powerful institutions continue to underestimate and marginalize the talents of people of color.”

His alma mater, the University of Southern California, praised his work with President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Óscar De Los Santos / Facebook

“As a sophomore, he was highly involved with the Obama 2012 reelection campaign, and the impact of his work was so significant that he was one of only six volunteers invited to dine with President Obama in Washington D.C.,” the USC press release states. De Los Santos was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently lives in a suburb of Phoenix, Ariz. He was the youngest field organizer in Florida for Obama’s campaign.

The political science graduate plans on taking on two one-year post-graduate degrees: a Master in Public Policy and a Master of Studies in Theology with a focus on Christianity.

Óscar De Los Santos / Facebook

“I’m the child of Mexican immigrants, an anti-hunger advocate and a former teacher and political organizer,” De Los Santos told AP, according to ABC15 Arizona. “My degree choices are a way for me to respond from a sense of moral urgency to help marginalized people.”

The mayor of Phoenix, Ariz., where De Los Santos currently lives, tweeted his support and praise of the student.

And it isn’t just his city’s mayor that is congratulating him.

Way to go, Óscar!

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy / DreamWorks / fernygifs / Tumblr

Now, go make everyone (more) proud and get that post-graduate degree from Oxford University. We’re rooting for you! ??

READ: NASA Just Can’t Get Enough Of This Mexican Scientist

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