Prince on a Quest

Hector Betanzos talks about his journey to Princeton University.

Hector Betanzos is a senior at Oxnard High School and he recently got the news that he had gotten accepted into Princeton University. He got a full ride to Princeton thanks to the Questbridge scholarship. “The way the Questbridge scholarship works is students can apply to the Questbridge organization. What they are looking for are low income students who have excellent academic achievements,” said Betanzos.


“I know if I wasn’t considered a low income student these schools wouldn’t even consider me for their scholarship,” said Betanzos. Being low income was a factor that had an impact on Betanzos’ outcome. “I don’t see it as a curse, I see it as a blessing and I’ve turned that into something wonderful with this scholarship.”


Although Betanzos comes from a less fortunate upbringing, he likes to remain optimistic and said that his financial situation has its perks. Since Betanzos is low income the cost for taking an AP exam is only five dollars. He said, “As of now, I have taken ten AP classes: sophomore year, I took [one]; my junior year, I took four; and this year I’m taking five.” Betanzos noted that from all of the AP classes and tests that he has taken, he earned passing scores in all of them and plans to continue this streak of success with the incoming AP tests later this year.


“At Princeton I’m planning on majoring in political science; with a political science degree, I want to be able to be a judge. Ultimately, it would be a dream to be Chief Justice of the United States,” said Betanzos regarding his future goals during and after his enrollment at Princeton.


Anyone can get to whatever goal they want as long as they work hard. Betanzos said, “It is definitely possible to be in the same spot that I am right now. I always knew it was a possibility and so I worked day in and day out to try to get my grades up. In the end, it’s really worth it because it’s better to put in the work right now than later when it gets much more difficult.”


Another piece of advice that Betanzos gave was to “definitely look into colleges and have something in mind because it gets difficult when applying to colleges when you don’t know which college to apply for.”


Betanzos faced many trials along his journey and would not have been able to overcome them without help from his friends and teachers. To his supporters, he said, “I don’t have much family around and I always looked towards friends for that support. My teachers as well, they’ve been helping me with anything I need and I owe a tremendous debt.”