Indianapolis native Andrés Huerta remembers his first visit to Butler. It was Homecoming weekend and he was with Sam, his mentor with Starfish Initiative—a local nonprofit that works with promising students to help overcome the barriers of poverty and to understand that college is an option. He vividly remembers walking around campus and eating dinner at Atherton Union, all the while visualizing himself as a student.

“I could see myself here,” Huerta says. “I knew deep down that this was the right place for me.”

So, with the help of his high school guidance counselor, he applied to Butler. And only to Butler.

Huerta was accepted into the highly-competitive Pre-Pharmacy Program, which he knew would be a great academic fit. However, the reality of funding his education was a challenge. “Looking back, I was very ignorant of the fact that college was expensive,” Huerta says. “I just knew I wanted to go to Butler, so I applied, but I didn’t really understand how I was meant to pay for it.”

Thankfully, Huerta, a 21st Century Scholar and first-generation college student, applied for—and received—the Butler Tuition Guarantee, a full-tuition scholarship available to Marion County students who exhibit a strong academic background, but also a large financial need. Huerta admits, “If I didn’t receive this scholarship, not only would I have not gone to Butler, but I probably wouldn’t have gone to college at all.”

Starting as a first-year student in 2017, Huerta said he was very timid and kept mostly to himself. But, over time, he became more comfortable interacting with students and professors, thanks largely to his involvement with the Efroymson Diversity Center (The DC). The DC helped him find his home away from home, allowed him to become more intertwined with campus, and served as the catalyst to many leadership opportunities, including his current role as the treasurer with Latinos Unidos.

Huerta is in the midst of his first (of four) years as a professional student in the Doctor of Pharmacy Program, and is still exploring the many avenues of pharmacy. Regardless of what he chooses, though, he knows that his Butler education will help get him there.

“At Butler, I’ve found that if you put in the work, things typically work out,” Huerta says. “Butler has pushed me to grow and I’ve succeeded far beyond what I thought I was capable of.”