JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KETK) – A Texas A&M student from Jacksonville has overcome incredible challenges over the past year but his friends and family have stood behind him every step of the way.
Alfredo Alvarez is a sophomore at Texas A&M and always had a plan. Over his high school career, he worked on a tomato farm in Jacksonville to save money.
However, those plans changed when a spark inside him soon became a fire.
“First, I wasn’t going to go to college,” said Alfredo. “I was going to go to work, but since I was passionate about band in high school, that’s when I looked up a video from Texas A&M.”
That video struck a passion that drove him to Texas A&M and one of the most nationally recognized bands in the country.
During his freshman year of college and after marching band season, Alfredo lost his mom in a car crash while visiting family in Mexico. That was before she and the rest of his family got the chance to see him perform on Kyle Field.
Alfredo is a first generation college student but his first reaction to losing his mom was how was his family going to continue supporting each other while he was in school.
“It was very shocking, I was in denial at first,” said Alfredo. “I received the call from my older brother saying that she had passed.”
In the same accident, his father was seriously injured and unable to work for months. This led Alfredo to contemplate dropping out of school to support his family.
“That’s when I kept thinking, ‘What am I going to do?’ My dad told me, ‘No you are going to go to school and finish it.'”
Alfredo decided to reach out to the Texas A&M Association of Former Students who help students pay for school.
“They were able to provide hope and encouragement that no matter what situation I’m in, I can still graduate and fulfill my parent’s dreams,” said Alfredo.
Along with money for education, donors also made it possible for Alfredo’s family to watch him march on Kyle Field for his second season.
While Alfredo is back home for the holidays, he says their family feels a sense of emptiness.
“The house will never be the same,” said Alfredo. “We are missing one person.”
Instead, he is staying positive, working hard to fulfill his parent’s dream of attending college and becoming the first college graduate in his family.