20 in their 20s

Estevan Delgado was just months away from graduation when he felt called to change his life’s course. 

Though he had long planned to become a physician, Delgado began reconsidering what was truly driving his future hopes and dreams. The first-generation college student and son of motor factory workers decided to pivot from pursuing medical school to serving patients by focusing on health care quality and decisionmaking.   

It was a step in the right direction, but still didn’t feel quite right. “I wanted to see what I could do to affect society so we’re not just caring about people at their deepest, darkest moments, but that we’re really caring about people from the time they enter society to the end,” he says. 

Delgado decided he needed one more change, so he earned a master’s degree in public affairs and began a new career in public policy. Today, he serves as program manager for the Hispanic Impact Fund at the Austin Community Foundation, working to improve economic security and advancement across Central Texas.

“I wanted to see what I could do to affect society so we’re not just caring about people at their deepest, darkest moments, but that we’re really caring about people from the time they enter society to the end,” he says.

At its heart, his job is about listening and advocating for support — two skills he also uses as a member of the Association of Rice Alumni’s Board of Directors, where he strives to improve the Rice experience for everyone and uplift “stories of pivot” like his own.

Through a winding search for purpose, Delgado found a way to do exactly what he felt called to do in his last semester at Rice: inspire others, impact the community and do it all on his own path.

Read more “20 in Their 20s” profiles here.

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