For Carlos Flores '23, choosing a major was tough. He started out at Notre Dame as an engineering major, but upon taking an architecture elective, he discovered that he liked both engineering and architecture equally.
Luckily, he had some help from a mentor back home in Oklahoma, who told him to choose the major that he thought would provide him with the best overall college experience. The architecture major’s required year in Rome finally won Flores over. He chose architecture and is also pursuing a minor in innovation and entrepreneurship through Mendoza College of Business.
While Flores spent only a summer in Rome, due to shutdown during COVID-19 quarantine, he maintains that architecture was the right choice for him.
Flores applied to Notre Dame through QuestBridge, an organization that matches exceptional low-income students with colleges and universities across the country.
While looking into applying to colleges, Flores initially found himself a little lost. A first-generation college student, neither of his parents were equipped to guide him through the process. When he asked around, Flores found that his peers were in the same boat, having the same trouble navigating the college search.
So he and a group of students at his high school formed a program that matches adult college graduates with students at the school. The adults mentor the students through the process, helping them explore colleges of interest and apply. The program is still going today.
Now a senior at Notre Dame (architecture is a five-year program), Flores has spent a lot of his extracurricular time with the QuestBridge organization on campus. In his junior year, he was Head Mentor of the student organization. He is also an AnBryce scholar and became a member of the Varsity Cheer Team in his sophomore year.
In addition, he is in the Real Estate Club, has an internship with Irish Gold Realty, and is a writer for Stoa Magazine, the student-led magazine for the School of Architecture.
Outside of those campus involvements, Flores has been building an app since his sophomore year. Called Fine Print, the app helps translate and simplify legal jargon for people who either can’t afford a lawyer or who don’t necessarily need one.
Flores’ experiences at Notre Dame have changed, supported, and challenged him in numerous ways. He points especially to the friendships he has made, most notable with his roommates and their families.
“The Notre Dame network is amazing. It is a bridge that spans beyond the classrooms, expanding students' horizons and opening doors to opportunities they never thought possible,” says Flores.
Watch the video above to learn more about Flores’ Notre Dame experience.