With endless avenues to discover and pursue, the hilltop provides resources for students to excel in the path they choose. Whether that's through interning at a U.S. representative's office, reporting for an award-winning newspaper, or leading in more ways than one on the field, Hilltoppers are surrounded by opportunities to create their own histories. Read how three students take learned collaborative skills and innovate them for their different responsibilities.

Irvin Abarca ’26, Business Administration

Building a team dynamic:

Abarca is a center back on the varsity men’s soccer team in its inaugural season back on the hilltop. The position requires him to use his vantage point, where he can see most of the field, to instruct other players where to move. “Sometimes they’re not looking at you, so they have to trust you,” he says.

A singular opportunity:

As a López Scholar, Abarca is part of a select group of Latino first- generation college students whose tuition, fees and housing are paid for by the Hector and Gloria López Foundation. The scholarship meant he wouldn’t need to work while attending ϲʿ’s and could focus on school and playing soccer. “When I got the call that I was chosen, I was in shock at first,” he says. “When they explained it, I was so relieved and excited.”

Irvin Abarca '26 is the center back on the varsity men's soccer team and studies Business Administration. He is also a recipient of the Hector and Gloria López Foundation scholarship.
Victoria Oseguera '24 is earning her degree in Political Science. Oseguera recently interned in the district office of U.S. Rep. Greg Casar.

Victoria Oseguera ’24, Political Science

Optimizing:

The summer after her freshman year, Oseguera worked for the city of Mission, Texas, near her hometown of McAllen. One day, as she watched her supervisor struggle to complete a tedious task, she envisioned — and implemented — an easier, faster way to get the job done. Now Oseguera specializes in internal process improvement at her student job in the university’s Office of Information Technology, where she has streamlined the hiring process.

Making someone’s day:

Oseguera interned in the district office of U.S. Rep. Greg Casar, who was elected to Congress in 2022. One of her duties was helping constituents renew their passports. Although the work doesn’t make headlines, it makes a difference for people who can finally travel abroad to visit relatives. “One of my favorite parts of the internship was working with the constituents and hearing the happiness and gratitude in their voices,” she says.

Claire Lawrence ’24, Communication

Finding joy in editing:

Lawrence always knew she wanted to write. But her experience as editor-in-chief of Hilltop Views revealed that she also enjoys leading a newsroom and mentoring younger reporters. “The newspaper is here to give to our community through our reporting, but we’re also here to help students grow into the best journalists they can be,” she says.

What her internship taught her:

In fall 2022, Lawrence reported breaking news at the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. Although she learned skills she was excited to pass along to her staff at Hilltop Views, she realized the fast pace of daily journalism didn’t suit her. “I wanted to spend more time with my sources and dig deeper into a topic.”

Letting off steam:

Lawrence plays bass in a rock band. After stressful days at school and the newspaper office, she recharges through jam sessions with her friends. “Music always makes things better for me,” she says.

Claire Lawrence' 24 poses in the Holy Cross Hall, where she serves as Editor-in-Chief of the student-run newspaper, Hilltop Views..

Written by Robyn Ross

Photography by Chelsea Purgahn