Wells Scholars program selects twins for first time


Michelle and Martin Aguinisare are the first pair of twins to be named Wells Scholars together. Briana Petty Buy Photos

The twins, along with 18 other students, will receive full tuition and course-related fees, as well as a living stipend, for their four-year education at IU.

The students, who grew up in Florida, were born in Argentina and moved to the U.S. on Independence Day when they were 4 years old, Michelle said.

Their parents wanted to give their children an opportunity to grow up in the U.S., she said.

Even though they couldn’t speak much English, the siblings said being young made it easier for them to adapt.

“Our first words were ‘Let’s go,’” Martin said.

About half of the Aguinis’ family still lives in Argentina, and they visit their home country every one or two years, he said.

“We went through such dramatic changes in our lives growing up, but we had each other as a commonality,” Martin said.

Becoming a Wells Scholar wasn’t an easy process for the twins, Martin said.
Their Florida high school was not a part of the Wells Scholars program. Only schools in Indiana and some select schools in other states nominate up to two students to be a part of the Wells Scholar program.

Martin and Michelle had to appeal to the Office of Admissions to request to be nominated. This put them into a bigger pool, Martin said.

Six hundred students were chosen to write three essays, and then 56 student were sent to Bloomington for a weekend of group and individual interviews. Michelle and Martin were two of those 56.

Finally, 18 of the students were selected to be named Wells Scholars.

“We got a phone call exactly a week after the interview weekend,” Martin said.

The twins have always been very close, and they understand each other,
Michelle said.

“We get along really well and have a lot in common, but we are individuals — we complement each other,” Michelle said.

Their relationship was one of the key factors that helped them win second place their senior year in the state championship for DECA, an international association for marketing students.

To compete, the siblings had to work as a team to develop a customer loyalty plan, 30-page book and 15-minute presentation about a financial firm, Martin said.

“We’ve been a team for 18 years,” Martin said. “It was very enjoyable to be able to do this with my sister.”

The siblings are both students at the Kelley School of Business. Michelle said she would like to major in finance and accounting with a minor in information systems or something with technology.

Martin plans to major in marketing management and international business with a minor in psychology.

In deciding to come to IU, the Kelley School and Wells Scholars program were huge deciding factors, Martin said.  

“They are ranked second in recruiting, and I-CORE allows you to apply all the lessons you’ve learned to solve cross-functional business problems,” he said.

They also said the financial aid and community with networking opportunities through the Wells Scholars program were important in their decision.

“It is an honor to hold Herman B Wells’ namesake,” Michelle said. “It’s not only important because of the financial aid with scholarships. Mainly, it’s part of being a part of the community. We’re there for each other, to support each other.”

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