Jose Morales ‘20: Paving the Road Towards a Better Future
After overcoming the trials and tribulations of his childhood, Jose Morales ‘20 is using his experiences to raise awareness and bring change within and around the Aggie community.
By Mia Mercer ‘23
Jose Morales ‘20 was 18 years old when his family moved to the United States. Born in Victoria, Mexico, life was difficult for Morales and his family. Although he was born into a middle-class family, the economic stagnation, violence, and growing inequality of Mexico caused Morales and his family to lose everything, forcing them to move to a low-income neighborhood on the outskirts of Victoria. When the Morales family first arrived in Houston, Morales struggled with language barriers and was behind in his studies due to missing valuable years of middle and high school in Mexico. But despite all these obstacles, Morales was determined to excel in his studies. After years of hard work, he is a proud Aggie who graduated this past December.
“I decided to apply to Texas A&M because of its well-known academic excellence, its student life, and its wide range of opportunities for advancing my career interests,” Morales said. “I grew up around poverty, social unrest, corruption, and inequality. Because of this, I developed a deep interest in understanding the causes of underdevelopment in the world, which is why I chose to be a sociology major with a minor in economics.”
Morales’s desire to achieve academic excellence helped him earn two scholarships, which have empowered his time in Aggieland. As a first-generation Aggie, Morales said he is thankful for the opportunity to pursue higher education and to be part of the Aggie family thanks to generous donors who funded the G. Rollie White Scholarship for Academic Excellence and the Walter Sumner and Annie Mae Anderson Scholarship for Academic Performance.
Instead of being a victim to the harsh environment, he grew up in, Morales uses his past experiences to bring attention to socioeconomic inequality. He represents both his family’s resilience and the Aggie spirit as an undergraduate research scholar and honors student who also serves as an undergraduate research assistant for the Department of Sociology. He also raised awareness of human trafficking as an officer for the International Justice Mission’s chapter at Texas A&M.
“I believe that everyone should have access to justice and freedom, and it is our duty to ensure that these fundamental rights are available for all,” Morales said. “What I love about Texas A&M is that it is a university that offers an incredible amount of support to its students. The support I got from the College of Liberal Arts and my scholarship donors both motivated me and allowed me to fund part of my education.”
Now, as an Aggie graduate, Morales plans on getting his doctorate before working in the policymaking field at organizations like the World Bank or the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America. Thanks to the education he’s received at Texas A&M and the donors who helped fund his studies, Morales is one step closer to being the change he wishes to see in the world.
“Giving to others is one of the most noble things we can do as humans,” Morales said. “It’s comforting to know that people like that exist and are making an impact in the world today.”