Pursuing an MBA to promote good policy, responsible business practices and empathy in the USA

I want to pursue an MBA because I think there is much we can accomplish in our country and in our society if both business and government operated with the value structure centered around contributing back to the community they operate in. We should be answering questions such as, how do we ensure that the increased automation of our industries protects the American worker? How do we close the gender gap when it comes to both pay and benefits? How can we raise pay and living standards for all of our workers? And, how can we be a model for the rest of the world?

Watch his full video essay below:

We are proud to announce Steven Avila is one of the current DiversityJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for his essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘heart’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Wow. You are already changing the world, and there is so much for left for you to do. I am honored to have known you during one summer of your time in Washington, and I am hopeful for that which you will give society. The mindset you have going into your graduate education can only do the world good.

  • Your video was inspiring to watch and I think that you would be a great candidate to receive this scholarship. Your hardships not only helped make you a stronger individual, but will also assist you in helping others along your journey. I wish you the best of luck in both this and your future business endeavors.

  • If everyone pursuing a business degree asked questions such as these and emphasized empathy and community as key values, we’d be in a lot better shape as a society right now. I hope Steven is selected for this scholarship so that he has the best opportunity possible to succeed in spreading these values in the private and public sectors.

  • Steven! Your essay is both inspiring and thought provoking. I hope you receive the scholarship and I am excited to see what great things you do in the future, especially regarding these social issues.

  • Steven is an exemplary citizen and thinker who has incredible potential to promote progressive change within this program at NYU – and beyond in the workplace. I can’t think of a better candidate for the scholarship.

  • I worked with Steven in Washington. He was one of the most optimistic and energtic staff members on our staff. I believe his training in the MBA program at NYU will provide him with the tools necessary to pick up where he left off in the Obama administration. With his MBA, his personal commitment to service and societal change, Steven will be a true force for fostering public private partnerships and a real change agent for our country.

    I have worked with a lot of younger, emergi g professionals over three decades of my career. Steven is exceptional and a real stand out person. Personally, I believe he is capable of accomplishing anything he sets his mind to and will be a true trailblazer in what field he ultimately settles into. Steve is a phemonial investment. We need more like him!

  • Steven’s post is not only very inspiring, but also very ambitious. Business and government are often seen as conflicting when it comes to regulations affecting the bottom line, but Steven sees marrying government and business as a way to address some of the social challenges in our society today. I support his candidacy for the diversity scholarship. In his hands I am confident that he will inexorably combat those challenges head on to find a remedy for those people that often struggle in our society.

  • Very well said. I hope to see both our government and our country’s private sector work together to achieve our socioeconomic goals, and it’s going to take people like Steven Avila to get us there.

  • Having met Steven and hearing about his background and goals, I am certain that he will be successful in bringing true change in diversity, equality, and so much more.

  • I can’t think of a kinder, smarter or nicer person to receive this scholarship. Steven embodies everything we want in the people advocating for the betterment of our communities and everything that is already great in the people in our communities. He uses his experiences to help him understand on a deeper and more meaningful level those around him rather than to harden and dismay him.

    Thank you for always striving to do more for those less fortunate and good luck with your endeavors, Steven! You have earned it.

  • I have known Steven for four years. Watching him go through his fight with cancer with positivity and a smile on his face, was truly an inspiration to all who knew him. Coworkers showed their support of his struggle by donating their vacation time so Steven could fight his battle without worry for his daily expenses. Family and friends rallied around this charismatic man. His family was able to care for him during the chemo and recovery from surgeries because of the family care act. He has lived with the support of the best people can be so he knows what can happen if people can be made to care, to engage in a cause other than their own. Because he has seen what people banding together can accomplish, and has been the catalyst for these actions, who better to pursue this type of action across other avenues of change that should be addressed; I.e. Closing the gender gap, continuing to provide jobs in this increasingly automated world, and showing the world that America cares about its citizens and the world. I feel Steven embodies the type of scholar for which this scholarship was created.

  • The challenges facing LGBTQIA+ youth in the medical community is one of the largest issues in many states today, especially as it pertains to Trans youth and their access to vital, life saving hormone therapy. Businesses seem to depersonalize those youth to protect their “bottom line”. Without students like you, there is no representation for those youth. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish.

  • I have had the privilege of working with Steven and seeing him work full time while going to school. He has accomplished so much since then and I believe he will achieve so much more. He is very passionate and this scholarship will help him achieve his goals which in turn will help so many.

  • Steven Avila is without a doubt one of the most committed individuals, driven by mission and impact that I know. He is an inspiration to his peers and those who are touched by his work. He and I were partners in a years long project to promote healthy lifestyles in a America’s Great Outdoors. His enthusiasm and creativity helped us think outside the box to advance our goals of visibility and awareness. I could not have asked for a better partner. Steven should 100% be considered mightily for this scholarship. He’s worth every vote and more! -Jessica Kershaw

  • Steven is driven to learn and advance policy that will help others to securie new opportunities and a better future for our country. In addition to being intelligent, he is caring and optimistic.

  • One of the most brightest, committed, respectful, and confident individual I have ever met! I have known Steve for many years, and counting. Deserves nothing but the best; any school and/or company would be lucky to have Steven A. Avila on its team!

  • Steven’s passion for helping others and his interest at the intersection of public/private sector make him an ideal candidate. I am so excited to see the transformative work he will accomplish with his degree!

  • This is a man with impeccable character and high ethical standards. Steven hands down deserves this scholarship!

  • I love your thought about the promotion of empathy. We need to find more ways to do that in today’s world, and you would make a great candidate for the scholarship because you not only exemplify empathy, but you have committed your life to helping and studying how others can find practice it too. You inspire me, Steven!

  • I was so impressed by Steven’s video. It is wonderful to see someone so committed to making a difference in people’s lives, and to tackling some of the most pressing problems that we face today. Steven is going to continue doing great things!

  • I completely support this. Before I even read Steve’s essay, I knew I would back him up however I could. Steve is smart, driven, curious, sensitive and responsible. He’s empathetic to the many challenges of the world and is dedicated to making them right. It’s those traits, and his uncanny ability to connect with people, that make him a leader in life and in work. It’s those traits that make him a deserving candidate for this scholarship. Give him the chance and I am confident he will give back to you, the business community and, ultimately, to society.

  • You are such an inspiration to all who know you, and your intelligence, charisma and compassion make you uniquely suited to find ways to address the issues you raise. You have already done so much to advance the causes you care about, and I can’t wait to see what you can do with an even bigger platform.

  • Great stuff, Steven! I have no doubt you will prove to accomplish amazing things with your ambitions. We need more people with your experiences and priorities leading the way! I will be a supporter every step of the way. Best of luck!

  • Good luck, Steven! Your submission was extremely moving, and in my opinion, you sound very deserving of this scholarship! :)

  • This is a remarkable and heartfelt submission. Absolutely clear that you’re primed and ready to take on these challenges–not only from a passion standpoint, but from a skills standpoint as well. Anyone that’s been involved in the complex interaction between government, social, and business sectors and then translated that into success has my vote. Without a doubt, you’ll not only be a much-needed voice in the sector of your choosing post-MBA, but an incredibly important voice in your MBA program as well. Simply put, we need more leaders like Steven.

  • So inspiring, Steven! It was truly a pleasure to work with you and I know you’ll continue contributing to a better, more equal world.

  • Was directed to this video by a friend and I’m thrilled to know that the next gen of business people are focused on the right things. Congratulations on your remission and I hope you win!

  • Good luck, Steven!! You’ve already had such an impact and will continue to do amazing and empowering things for the world. Can’t think of anyone more deserving of this scholarship!

  • I’m so impressed with your story here and hope you win the scholarship and make our world a better place for my grandchildren, newly born!! Good luck!

  • Steven is deserving of this scholarship for a myriad of reasons. Just to name a few, Steven is socially conscious, community service oriented, persistent, passionate, devoted and driven. Whether it is an educational, professional, physical, social or personal goal, Steven will endeavor to accomplish it. To this point he is pursuing his education/MBA, he previously secured a position at the White House where he had a vast & public forum in which he addressed the many interests and causes near & dear to him, he has overcome cancer, he proudly represents the LBGT community and he has traveled the world. These same experiences have also made him unique.

    Steven has worked extremely hard and as such, he will truly understand and appreciate the value of receiving this scholarship. In fact, it would be the proverbial, “gift that keeps giving.” Steven has the will and potential to succeed and I have no doubt he will make significant contributions to the world.

    To this end, if Steven were to receive this scholarship, not only would it afford him more time for his studies, but it would enable Steven’s desire and willingness to stand up, to fight and ideally to persevere for changes to issues that are relevant to those of us in “the real world.” More specifically, as it relates to recent changes and/or decisions regarding political, monetary, social, environmental and health related matters that have had, or will have an adverse impact on the majority of the population.

  • Thank you so much for all your effort and pursuing this mission going forward. We need more MBAs with this mindset!

  • Steven, you are truly an inspiration – keep up the great work! Wishing you every success as you continue to lead, inspire, and give back to the global community!

  • I was a colleague of Steven’s at the White House and can say with every confidence that he was one of the most effective and compassionate colleagues during my 7 years working for President Obama.

    His combined expertise in business operations and public service gives him an outstanding skillset to tackle a wide range of issues and/or attack one problem with a diverse perspective.

    He deserves the chance to share his gifts with a great organization and I hope you give him the chance!

  • Steven, you are so amazing. I cannot wait to see what you do next and how you utilize your MBA to create amazing things in this world. Best of luck!

  • Stephen would be an incredible choice for this scholarship, as he has already proven to be an enthusiastic and effective leader, not just in his community but in the country. I had the pleasure to get to know Stephen during my time as a White House Intern. His confidence and compassion for those less fortunate was an inspiration to me in my own pursuits in politics and public service. If we have more people like Stephen working at the intersection of the private and public realms, we’ll have a better world in no time.

  • I feel more confident about the future of our country and the world when I hear young people like you speak on these important issues. I strongly believe that positive changes will take place with leaders like you at the helm. I’ve been impressed by all your accomplishments thus far, and have seen how you’ve met difficult challenges along the way. I sincerely hope you receive this scholarship, because it is so well deserved.

  • I met Steven in 2014 in the Obama Administration and we have been friends since then. What makes Steven stand out from the crowd, in my opinion, is his eternal, inextinguishable optimism, his passion in the work that he does, his vision for the future in spite of an ever-growing uncertain world we live in surpasses that of many people I know. He has faced scary, thought-provoking moments and it has made him, in the midst of his misfortune, recognize how fortunate he is and the importance of doing all the good you can while we have time to do it. You see that in his interest in working at the intersection of business and government. The government can only do so much, businesses pick up where the government leaves off. Each can ensure that rights and civil liberties are protected. Too often, one falls short and that is where Steven comes in. His dedication to this cause is true.

    He’s very modest and won’t enumerate every success or amazing experience he has had. He doesn’t have to. 74 comments so far speaks to how well he is loved not because of anything superficial, but because of the kind of person he is. Some may say he is lucky. He is. Luck is present in all our lives and our successes aren’t always deserved. But Steven has worked incredibly hard to get where he is today. My confidence is marrow deep in the belief that Steven will be a great asset to this organization.

  • This is an outstanding candidate. The work he has done already and the work he aspires to do is testament to his abilities. He is articulate, driven, and the kind of thinker we need today.

  • Wow, Steven! You’re an inspiration and give me hope in the future of this country. All the best to you!

  • Could not be happier to support Steven’s candidacy for this scholarship; his experiences, perspective, and vision are what we need most now, and I believe this MBA and scholarship will allow him to see his hard works, goals, and dreams comes to fruition.

  • Steven is a kind hearted, hard working, dedicated individual whom I had the privilege of working with. He has accomplished so much and I believe he still has so many great things to achieve. This scholarship will help Steven achieve his goals!!

  • If anyone will work hard to answer the question “how can we do better?”, I am confident it is you Steven. I know first-hand how your commitment to ensuring diverse voices were at the table during your time in the Administration, made a difference to the communities our coalition represented. DiversityJobs would be fortunte to count you among its scholarship recipients. Best of luck always. Laura

  • With individuals like you at the healm, I’m confident in the country’s ability to be the model for the rest of the world to emulate. Thank you for your continued service.

  • We need more young individuals like Steven, who are inspired and dedicated in making a positive impact on our communities and society.

  • Simply WOW! You are what we need in this country! The questions you have posed are of the inclusive nature that is necessary for the upward direction and progress of our nation. Steven, you deserve this scholarship, hands down! Thank you, for inspiring us.

  • Did you hear the key word in Steven’s video ? Policy. Policy is hard. No one ever talks about policy when they talk about changing Washington. Steven’s focus on policy; his experience in Washington, and his NYU MBA are great predictors of the true change and impact that Steven will have on the world !!!

  • I agree with you 100%! Both the business and government sectors could benefit from greater cross-fertilization. For the U.S. to remain on the cutting-edge, we need the best and brightest from both sectors to put their heads together to solve the wicked problems we face as a nation. The more that we can support people like you–who hope to blend best practices from both government and private sectors–the stronger our country will be! Best of luck with your MBA program, Steve! I’m looking forward to seeing all that you will achieve in your future.

  • Steven, your vision is incredibly inspiring. The world could definitely use more people like you who stand up for and work towards these issues – issues that would otherwise be forgotten once all the campaign speeches are done. Let’s make the world a better place for EVERYONE.
    I hope you win this scholarship, you deserve it. All the best!

  • Such an inspiring video, thank you for sharing. Excited to see where your passion leads you, and to see the wonderful changes you will clearly bring.

  • This is awesome! Steve is an incredible mentor, friend, and colleague, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving.

  • One of the most impressive persons I’ve ever met. The world needs more people like you!! Besos from Austria!

  • Steven – you are one of the most amazing humans that I have ever met and I cant wait to see what else you accomplish in life bc I know it will be amazing.


  • I had the great good fortune of being Steven’s boss while he worked at the U.S. Dept. of the Interior. When I first met Steven during his initial interview to join my team I felt like I’d spotted a unicorn.  Almost immediately, I could tell Steven was special and that not only was he the one I wanted on my team but that I’d be lucky to get him.  At the time, he was being considered for multiple positions in the U.S. Department of the Interior so I had to fight for Steven.  If I’d known then what I know now about Steven, I’d have fought even harder.
    During the three years that Steven worked for me, he established an unwavering interest in and commitment to actively promote inclusion and diversity within his immediate work environment, the Interior Department as a whole, and in every project he tackled.  Quite simply, it’s who Steven is.

    I can assure you with 100 percent confidence that Steven is worthy of your scholarship and that he will make you proud.

  • Totally agree with Steven’s message and what he’s trying to accomplish with his MBA degree in the future. He hits on a lot of topics and issues that the US and other countries will face or already face in the near future. Steven has my vote!

  • Steven, very well spoken, and incredibly noble sentiments around leveraging a business degree to effect social change in the U.S. Best of luck.

  • Equality, accessible healthcare, and the increasing impact of job automation – three extremely important issues in our society today. Inspiring to see that there are individuals like yourself in this world tackling these difficult and complex problems. Wish you all the best.