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   Grogan Residential College > Groganite Student Spotlight
Groganite Student Spotlight

Groganite Student Spotlight

Raising the Music Bar
With hopes to be a music ambassador, Angel Gonzalez steps out of his element.

Angel Gonzalez will never forget the moment that jazz band director Steve Haines overheard him singing in the band room. Haines gave Angel a challenge. Or maybe you could call it a prediction.

“He told me that I’d be singing the next day in front of the class,” the rising sophomore said. “I tried to get out of it three times.”

But when Angel stepped up to the microphone and belted out a Sinatra tune, his classmates were floored. “They said it was unbelievable. They thought I had training, but I had never sung in front of people before.”

By the end of the semester, Angel gave his first vocal performance at the UNCG Jazz Ensemble concert. The microphone trembled in his hand, but he finished the song to a standing ovation.

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Healing the Underserved
Born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, UNCG Guarantee student plans to set up medical clinics for the poor.

A few months to live. That was the prognosis given to the parents of Juan Collazo, now a junior biology major at UNCG. Juan had severe deformities in his eyes, lips and fingers. His condition, known as Amniotic Band Syndrome, occurs when the fetus becomes entangled in string-like amniotic bands in the womb, restricting blood flow and affecting development.

It can occur in any pregnancy, to any family; but not every family has access to the care that will help them overcome it.

Such was the case for Juan and his family, who come from a small village in Mexico. His parents believed that with the proper care, Juan could not only live, but thrive. They left their family and their home behind and brought Juan to Duke Hospital. Two decades and 14 surgeries later, he is preparing to be the first in his family to graduate from college.

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