Like many other Bright Prospect students, Charles grew up in an economically disadvantaged household. His family struggled to afford simple necessities such as clothing, a working vehicle, and rent on the family’s mobile home. Even though other students constantly teased him about his low income status, he didn’t let it interfere with achieving his goals. Charles wanted to attend college, but his family was unsure of which steps to take, and that’s when Bright Prospect came into the picture.
Bright Prospect guided Charles through the college application process and informed him of all the different opportunities he had access to. For example, before he joined Bright Prospect, Charles thought attending a small, private liberal arts college was financially out of reach for him. With Bright Prospect’s help, Charles attended Williams College in Massachusetts on a full scholarship after graduating from Don Lugo High School in Chino in 2007. In 2011, Charles graduated from Williams College with a bachelor’s in Chemistry, and enrolled in the Chemistry Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Austin.
At UT Austin, Charles spent a few years studying new ways of creating traditionally hard-to-manufacture pharmaceuticals. During his Ph.D. program, Charles found employment at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee studying separations chemistry, which includes new ways of capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This past spring, Charles graduated with his Ph.D. in Chemistry and now works at MilliporeSigma, where he custom manufactures specialty chemicals for researchers around the world. He credits Bright Prospect as being pivotal to his success during his undergraduate and graduate years.