Miguel Solorio

By Troy Wilde

Updated May 22, 2017

Tucson, AZ – Miguel Solorio is planning on using his architecture degree from the University of Arizona to help low income families.

Miguel explains, “I want to focus on low income housing – researching and practicing new methods in materials, and techniques in construction, that can be economical and ultimately make housing and renting, more affordable to those families.”

Miguel, age 23, was born in Santa Rosa, California and his family lived in Nevada, Indiana, Cancun, Mexico and other places before settling in Peoria, Arizona. Miguel graduated from Peoria High School and graduated from the U of A with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture.

Miguel says his life experience has played a leading role in his career choice:

“I think it had a lot to do with how I grew up, moving to all of those places, and seeing different people, and different build environments. My childhood was kind of poverty-stricken and we lived in a lot of deteriorated housing. Just living through that experience, I was able to see firsthand how I can help people with architecture.”

Meanwhile, technology seems to impact every sector of business and life, and Miguel says architecture is no exception, “In school we explored a new material called ‘scoria,’ which is a lava rock-type material. Through our research we installed thermostats inside the walls of several houses we’ve built to determine how scoria performs thermally for human comfort.”

So far as work experience, Miguel says he learned a lot through internships, such as the one he completed at an architecture office in Scottsdale, “With them I got to build some physical models of a Navajo community that is being built right now in Northern Arizona. They’re also exploring building materials that are local and economical.”

Miguel also developed an interest in photography while in architecture school, “In school we had to take a lot of pictures of models, and we often had to do graphic illustrations of our projects. So, I’ve really learned a lot about photography and I really enjoy it.”

Miguel is among the hundreds of hardworking, high potential students from low income circumstances who have earned a scholarship from College Success Arizona. The scholarship provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses. It also provides students with specialized mentoring services administered by a team of highly skilled “Success Advisers.”

Miguel says his success adviser, Matt Sotelo, provided valuable guidance, “I met up with Matt two or three times per semester, and we pretty much caught up on what I was doing. We talked about any struggles or issues that I was having, and Matt helped with that, but we also talked about him. So, it’s a friendship that we’ve formed over time.”

Miguel adds that the financial support made life easier, “School was really expensive and it’s not just tuition and housing. In school you have to pay out-of-pocket for your trips and to build your projects, so the scholarship from College Success Arizona was really helpful.”

Miguel has some advice for middle and high school students considering college, “I say ‘go to school.’ Even if it’s not what you want to do, or you’re not sure about it, a university or college education really helps you learn about yourself, and your values and goals. Even if you don’t continue on with the career that you chose, you’ve definitely learned a lot about yourself, and you grow as a person.”

Since 2005, College Success Arizona has worked with nearly 1,300 students, and provided more than 16 million dollars in scholarships and success services to help increase the college attainment rate in Arizona. If you would like to be part of the mission of providing educational opportunity to high potential students from low income backgrounds, your tax deductible contribution can be made through the “Donate” button on the top of this page.  Your support can help change lives.

Listen to the audio PodCast of Miguel’s original interview

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