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ACF Leadership Blog


Opinions, thoughts and ideas from the leaders of the Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona’s largest statewide philanthropic grantmaker.

Get to know Albert Alan, ACF scholarship recipient
By Joy Klein, Director of Scholarships / January 22, 2020
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Each day, students find the courage and strength to continue on the path to their dreams. They are seeking change through choosing to pursue higher education. Each student experiences a unique and powerful journey when they apply for scholarships through ACF. 


Albert Alan's aspirations are boundless, and he has the hard evidence to prove it. In 2017, he earned not one, not two, but three concurrent degrees from the University of Arizona. This foundation in physiology, sociology, and neuroscience landed Albert in UArizona's Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway program, where he's pursuing an M.S. in Cellular Molecular Medicine and an M.D. degree. Albert plans to become one of 3,700 practicing board-certified neurosurgeons.

That's not to say that Albert's journey to his dream career has been an easy one. At age 15, he was navigating homelessness and fighting for his right to survive. Tutoring his high school classmates ignited a spark in Albert, driving him to apply for college in 2011. After enrolling at UArizona, his academic success and involvement in the community continued to grow. Deeply affected by his experiences living on the street and without a consistent food source, Albert dedicated three years to the Borderlands Produce Rescue, a nonprofit that reduces food waste by redistributing thousands of pounds of fresh produce every week.

Among many awards and accolades, Albert received the Guinn B. Burton Medical Scholarship and the Phoenix Pride Scholarship, both of which are managed through ACF. As a scholarship recipient, Albert is passionate about serving as a model for other high schools students who face oppressive challenges. 

At a storytelling event in 2018, Albert shared his advice to students: 

“Show that even if you get knocked down and keep getting knocked down, you get back up. That’s how you measure success. You keep getting back up.”

If you are inspired by Albert's story and ready to pursue your dreams, head to our online scholarship application. The deadlines for ACF scholarships are March 15 and May 15, 2020. We recommend submitting your application by the March 15 deadline so you can be matched with as many scholarships as possible.

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