Jose Pedro Montoya

Set your own standard

Jose Pedro Montoya, 20, is a sophomore at the University of Kansas. He is pursuing degrees in both journalism and sports management, along with a minor in business. At KU, Montoya plays the sousaphone for the Marching Jayhawks, is involved with Phi Iota Alpha and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and participates in journalism-related activities such as the Playmakers, which is a student-run show dedicated to sports broadcasting. Montoya is originally from New Mexico and considered 13 different colleges before ultimately deciding on Kansas in the spring of 2015. Montoya will be the first person in his family to graduate college when he walks down the hill in May 2020. He will also not have to pay back any loans, courtesy of the Gates Millennium Scholarship through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which pays for up to five years of school.

The most formative thing from my childhood that made me who I am today is my faith. I was baptized as a baby and just grew through it. Having a strong faith is important to me and then just living by that.

One struggle I have had to overcome was choosing a college. It was April 28 when I found out about the scholarship, and the deadline was May 1. So it was like, where do I go? I think my visit is what separated KU.

I chose KU because of the journalism program. Once I came into Dole, I was very amazed at all there was to offer, and I knew this was a true journalism school.

The best lesson I ever got from my parents is to always finish what you start. Whether it's applying to a university, or it's that one journalism story that you have to write the night before it’s due. It is important to stay committed.

My biggest role model is my grandpa, Arsenio Montoya. He used to tell me if you are working in the garden, you should finish your day's work as soon as possible, instead of waiting for the afternoon.

Graduating from KU is a big deal because nobody in my family graduated from college. They regularly support me, and they think I'm amazing for even coming out here and being so independent.

My favorite memory at KU is every game day with the Marching Jayhawks. Being a Marching Jayhawk is a lot of work, but at the end of the day, it shows how much fun being a Jayhawk really is. It is great to be a part of something that people enjoy watching.

One lesson I have learned is to get involved. If you are finding yourself at your apartment at 3 p.m. all the way until you go to bed, you are doing something wrong. 

My dream is to work in college sports because it has always been my favorite. I would like to be an athletic director at a Division I program, preferably a school in the power five conference.


Shane Jackson is a senior from Melvern, Kansas, who will graduate with a journalism degree in May. At KU, Shane writes for The University Daily Kansan and helps out with KJHK radio station. He also played Quidditch and served as sports chair for Stephenson Scholarship Hall. After graduation, Shane plans to take an internship with MLB.com covering the Minnesota Twins.