Educational Fund MSREE Oregon Tech

Where is the Handprint of Humanity?

Each person in this world is born with certain characteristics, strengths, and unique qualities that define them. My name is Jose Andres Suarez Diaz, and I am 24 years old. I was born and raised in Bucaramanga, Colombia. I graduated at "Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga” where the first encounter with my dreams began.

 As a young guy who started his bachelor’s degree at the age of 18, I found this an unforgettable experience. I had the opportunity to start my career with a 50% scholarship given to me for academic excellence at my High School. During my first year of college, I learned something from Maxwell, “Dreams do not work unless you do.” As a person with a strong desire for learning, I started working as a researcher of the Energy, Sustainability and Sources group (GIRES) engineering advisory board of my school. By the time I was 19, I had had the opportunity to meet not only people with amazing research skills but also individuals who took care of their friends.

My first encounter with the field of energy engineering gave me the determination to leave my comfort zone and enter a project which advanced me in several personal and professional ways. ENERCO, “Energia Colombiana” was my first taste of what teamwork meant, and how far as a team you can go. This project was based on promoting students from different universities and colleges around my city to contribute ideas for the implementation of new energy sources, aimed at sustainable social development and environmental protection. This team of more than 120 people succeeded in the implementation of a new research group for young researchers which allowed new students to work on what they dreamed.

This experience provided me the basis of what a professional should include in his life. Being an Energy Engineer is not only finding alternative ways to produce energy more efficiently, but it is also finding how willing you are to create a new style of life. This was one of the stages of my journey that taught me how to be flexible, and how to be reasonable with my words and desires. Also, it has provided me a strong skill that I always thank John Lennon for echoing his words, “A dream you dream alone, is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality.”

As the time passed, I continued my process of learning, alternating my studies with volunteering. I volunteered as a staff member and coordinator of events at Soñar Despierto, and CreSer, international organizations responsible for the social, emotional, and material needs of underprivileged children around my city. I gained compassion and experience that I practiced for four years in my country, appreciating every day of life, contrasting the different ways of living, learning from them how to be humble, how to enjoy every good thing, and seeing how hard they work to get something done. This stage transformed my way of seeing life and made me recognize how much we can do to make the world a better place.  

When I was finishing my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to come to the United States in August of 2014 to improve my English.  It is important for people to be able to communicate ideas and to transform ideas into reality, and I knew that the only way to do this was learning a second language. That was the main reason which pushed me to come to the USA. As an Energy Engineer, the only way to advance and make a positive impact on society is to extend your boundaries, push to learn, understand, and recognize the differences between cultures and ideas. Something needed in the world today is thinking outside of the box, identifying new concepts and new alternatives to improve our life standing. Through these new ideas, we will see how much we can do while using the energy field to provide health and comfort in those communities that have been calling for help and orientation.

At the time of my arrival in the USA, I was finishing the last semester of my career, which necessitated me to lead a research project at my university called “HECTES” (Numerical Study of a Heat Exchanger Concentric Extender Surface Tubes) project that I led and I am still working on the research phase. This project was conducted and completed from the USA. At the same time, I was starting full-time classes at Lone Star College. To be honest, this period has been the most intense stage of my journey as a college student in the U.S., facing challenges with language, living expenses and also being in a new setting away from family and friends. I got approval for my dissertation on November 15, 2015, accomplishing my Bachelor’s degree as an Energy Engineer while I was finishing my first semester of College at Lone Star Montgomery. Learning how to be understood in a second language, and completing my career as preparation for the third objective, my Master’s degree.

Since January of 2016, I set a promise and with the help of Kristin Armstrong, and her words were printed on my mind.

“I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something is not easy. I want to push back and make some room in the area between I can’t and I can.”

This quote has encouraged me many times, which explains why it means a lot to me. Doubt about your abilities is something that humans do, even more so when you are setting new goals in life. Right now, I graduated from an Associate of Arts degree at Lone Star College-Montgomery with a recognition of an independent research on Algae Biofuel Production.

After all this journey I've got what I have dreamed since I was in Colombia, being admitted at Oregon Institute of Technology to study a Master Degree in Renewable Energy Engineering. I got the admission 3 months ago to start this Fall 2017 on Sept 25th. Since then, I have been trying to find the money to cover my studies. This is the main reason to call up to you all. 

It has been a dream for me to conquer this step in my life, and I trust that I'm ready to take the bull by the horns.  I have been saving money, but I'm missing USD 33,357  which consists of the rest of the tuition out of USD 45,000.

Any donation and help you are willing to provide will be set for this dream. After all, whatever you are meant to do, do it. It seems "the conditions are always impossible"! 

Thanks for your help and support! 
God Bless you!


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Jose Andres Suarez Diaz 
Spring, TX
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