Texas Computer Science is welcoming three Forty Acres Scholars this fall. More than 4,000 students applied for the elite scholarship program, which inspires and nurtures visionary leaders and helps them use their talents to benefit society. Back in February, 54 impressive finalists visited UT campus for a full weekend of in-person interviews and a glimpse at what life on the Forty Acres could be.

Maria Gu

Maria Gu from San Antonio, Texas, is the recipient of the Preston M. "Pete" Geren Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Ronald Reagan High School, Gu was a varsity dancer, the publicity officer of Mu Alpha Theta, and an ambassador of Got Hope, a club that brings joy to oncology patients. She developed a Latin study app that won the Congressional App Challenge, received a National Women and Information Technology Aspirations Award, and co-founded an organization called Entrepreneurship Reaching Into Children’s Hearts. She plans to major in computer science and earn a business foundations certificate at UT. She is the daughter of Zhen Zhang and Shuo Gu.

Joshua Martinez

Joshua Martinez from Spring, Texas, is the recipient of the AIM Foundation Forty Acres Scholarship. While attending Klein Oak High School, Martinez was valedictorian, president of Mu Alpha Theta and founder of the school’s Cultural Diversity Club. He was a National Merit Finalist, National Hispanic Scholar, and AP Scholar with Distinction. Martinez plans to major in computer science as a Turing Scholar. He is the son of Evelin and Robert Martinez.

Chris Wang

Chris Wang from Houston, Texas, is the recipient of the BHP Forty Acres Scholarship. At Carnegie Vanguard High School, she was president of the Women in Science and Engineering Club, and was involved in the National Honor Society, the Mu Alpha Theta National Math Honor Society, and the National Hispanic Honor Society. A classically-trained pianist, she won first place at the Houston Forum Young Artists Competition and the Blinn College Young Pianist Competition. Wang is one of fifty Coolidge Senators in the nation, representing the top 2 percent of applicants nationwide for the Calvin Coolidge Scholarship. She is also a U.S. Presidential Scholar Candidate, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a National Merit Finalist. She plans to enter the Texas Honors Computer Science and Business program with a minor in Spanish. Wang is the daughter of Liping Zhou and Chun Wang.

"These scholars will receive full funding for their tuition, a living stipend, a book stipend, and opportunities for enrichment activities including a community component, a global experience, and professional experiences. As the only program of its kind administered by an alumni association, Forty Acres Scholars develop a unique connection with their alma mater—and with each other. Over their four years on campus, scholar cohorts form a tight bond with each other, and serve as a powerful network and resource to each other during their time on campus and beyond."