WAEF gets to work with s ome amazing men and women at such an inspirational time in their lives. With each graduate we know our communities s are growing stronger as these driven men and women begin to discover their new personal and professional roles.
Jose Hurtado received his first WAEF scholarship in 2007 as a high school graduate. WAEF donors assisted him with college scholarships in 2009 and 2011 though his interactions with WAEF continued beyond financial assistance. Jose's first inquiry about how he could help other students through WAEF occurred before he himself completed college.
We love his story and hope you too enjoy reading about this deserving man as he answers our questions about his past and plans for the future.
When did you decide you wanted to attend college? Were there obstacles you needed to overcome?
I decided to attend college at the age of 6. I know it sounds absurd but since I was that age I took education seriously and I knew I would attend college and graduate. The obstacle, just like any college student, that I faced was paying for tuition. Tuition was increasing every year and it was rather difficult to pay for it without taking any loans. Luckily my family helped me and I worked two jobs to pay it without taking any loans so I graduated debt free.
Was your career path clear from the beginning?
My career path was clear from the beginning. I always had a passion for engineering and architecture. When I was attending WSU I focused on architecture more and I obtain my B.S. in Architecture Studies and Master of Architecture.
What influenced me to seek this path was watching a documentary on the Colosseum. I was six years old and completely blown away. I was just fascinated by how it got built and since than architecture has been part of what makes me.
WAEF also had the privilege of assisting your sister Rosario through scholarships. How did her college experience impact you? Were there others that you looked to for inspiration? Did you see yourself filling a particular role for your younger siblings or family members?
Erika is my oldest sibling and she was the first one to attend college. She received her nursing degree from WVC and then transfer to UW nursing program where she got her Bachelor's degree. Rosario was the second sibling to attend college and Liz is the youngest and she graduated from UW. In total I have three sisters and all of them graduated from college.
Erika's experience influenced me tremendously. She worked hard and she did not let anything get in her way of achieving her goals. I took that same approach and even when there were hard days I did not let it deter me from achieving my goals. Rosario's experience also taught me that you have to work hard and not give up and just keep pushing to achieve your goals.
I never saw myself filing a particular role for my sisters or family. All I wanted to teach them was that you have to believe in yourself. You have to work hard and never give up. It is easier to just quit than to keep moving forward.
My parents always pushed us to be the best and achieve our goals. They always told us that a good work ethic will take us far and always to work hard for what you want.
Share about your life now including your career, family and return to the Wenatchee valley.
I obtain my AA degree from Wenatchee Valley college and then transfered to WSU to obtain my B.S. degree in Architecture. I applied to the graduate school in WSU and got accepted. During my graduate studies I was a TA for the undergraduate classes and it was a neat experience. Overall I grew so much in Pullman and became a better person. WSU will always be a special place for me.
Currently, I am working at Forte Architects in Wenatchee. When I was in my third year in architecture studies Forte Architects gave me an opportunity to intern with them in the summer and during school breaks. Upon graduating last May with my Master's degree Forte Architects offered me a full time position and I took it. That is one of the main reasons I came back to Wenatchee because I enjoyed working for Forte Architects. I turned down job offers from firms in Seattle because it did not feel the same as working for Forte Architects.
What led you to join the WAEF alumni association?
What led me to join the WAEF alumni association was that this organization helped me when I was attending WSU. You guys believed in my dream and I received scholarships that helped me more than you can imagine. I want to be part of WAEF because you guys have helped so many students and I have experienced how much your help means to a student.
Thank you for supporting WAEF and helping students just like Jose succeed!