Coming from the border city of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, Diego is a student with a great passion for science and community service. These interests led him to apply to his dream school, New York University, but even after being admitted to his program of choice, he was forced to deny the offer due to his citizenship status and financial limitations. He then attended a university in Monterrey, Mexico where he served as vice-president of a sexual and reproductive health group aimed to demystify misconceptions about sexuality and break taboos in conservative environments. He also had the opportunity to be a clinical volunteer at a United Nations refugee settlement in Zambia in 2017, where he co-coordinated an HIV prevention campaign. Committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS and advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community, Diego kept applying to NYU in the hopes of finishing his undergrad studies in the US. He was finally able to accept his third offer of admission in 2019 after having fundraised enough money to attend school.

Persevering through housing and food insecurity, a sudden loss of his financial aid, and the many challenges of arriving in a new country, Diego found ways to establish himself and took on different leadership positions at his school’s LGBTQ+ center, volunteered as a health educator, and became involved in research to tackle health disparities for racial, sexual, and gender minorities. In the future, Diego aims to become a physician to advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the medical field.