Dell Scholars Program: The lasting impact of college completion

For first-generation, low-income college students in the United States, the road to a college degree comes with a diverse set of challenges.  These obstacles – such as working part-time or acting as the primary caretaker for family members – can derail a student’s ability to complete college.  And couple that with the stress of finding the funds to pay for college, it often becomes insurmountable for a student.   

We launched the Dell Scholars Program in 2004 with these complex challenges in mind. Our program was designed to not only help our scholars afford college, but to ensure that the personal challenges they faced would not prevent them from getting the degree they desired.  

In this podcast, the former program lead of the Dell Scholars Program, Oscar Sweeten-Lopez, speaks with two Dell Scholars Program graduates to hear how earning a college degree impacted their personal and professional lives, and inspired their families and communities.  


Margarita Sevilla, Teacher, KIPP Austin Public Schools 

Esmeralda Mireles, Graduate Medical Education- Program Administrator at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin 


Oscar Sweeten-Lopez, President, College Success Tools, and former Portfolio Director, Dell Scholars Program