Henry Ortiz is the first in his family to go to college and plans to make his parents proud. Ortiz is a senior at Hamline University studying marketing. He is a recipient of the Xcel Energy Scholarship and is currently completing an internship in Xcel Energy’s marketing department.

As a child of immigrants and a role model to his two brothers, Ortiz feels proud to be a first-generation college student. “My mom and dad always instilled the significance of education in me, and I needed to go because they couldn’t.”

Ortiz has not wasted his time at Hamline. He participates in the Hispanic and Latino Organization, runs the 100- and 200-meter sprints on the track and field team and is a student worker in the president’s office. Ortiz was able to do all of these things with help from financial aid and scholarships.

Ortiz said he also uses work-study money, federal and private loans to pay for college. “The addition of the Xcel Energy Scholarship really helped,” he said. Not only did it provide a financial scholarship, it opened the opportunity to have an internship that gave him experience in his area of interest.

Ortiz’s favorite parts of Hamline include how much the professors know about the subjects they are teaching. He also has been thankful for support from staff, including academic advisor Patrick Hueller. “My advisor has guided me throughout college,” Ortiz said. “He goes above and beyond, and I really appreciate that.”

After college Ortiz plans to pursue a career in marketing, ideally working at Xcel Energy and eventually going back to get his MBA. He also looks forward to one day learning more about his own family’s background by traveling to Ecuador.