Sebastian Cruz Loaiza was born and raised in Manizales, Colombia. He moved to Orlando, Florida when he was 14. After adapting to a new country, education system, and language, he graduated from Colonial High School with honors in the top 10% of the class of 2023.
Sebastian challenged himself with a rigorous course load in high school, including multiple AP and AICE courses. He played on the school's JV volleyball team. He was an active member of the Hispanic Honor Society club, where he helped the local church set up events to feed those in need and was part of other community service initiatives. Sebastian also delivered speeches within the club and was the master of ceremonies for a multicultural school event. He registered in a Dual Enrollment program at Orange Technical College, where he took 3D animation classes and developed skills in drawing, storyboarding, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Autodesk Maya.
During his senior year, Sebastian maintained a high GPA and excellent grades in his AP and AICE courses while working part-time. He was a recipient of QuestBridge's National College Match, which grants a full-ride scholarship to top colleges.
Now, Sebastian is a first-generation college student attending Middlebury College and plans to major in Economics or Computer Science. He sees higher education as a means to grow academically and professionally to help his family in Colombia.
Recently, Sebastian earned a position as the inaugural president of the QuestBridge Scholars Network Chapter at Middlebury College, a student organization that connects and builds the QuestBridge community on campus. Sebastian wants to give back to Middlebury and QuestBridge by focusing on community service opportunities and establishing a Chapter that will inspire and connect scholars.