By Troy Wilde
April 26, 2016
Tempe, AZ – Hector Vazquez is a 21-year-old junior at Arizona State University whose main ambition is to help ensure that Arizona and surrounding states have enough water in the future.
Hector says he plans to pursue a career working on projects related to water conservation after he graduates from ASU with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, “I am planning to work in some area of sustainability where I would be working with something along the lines of water resource engineering, where I would be helping the community out with the use of water – just making it more sustainable overall.”
Hector was born and raised in Phoenix where he graduated from Alhambra High School. He went on to earn a scholarship from College Success Arizona which provides specialized mentoring services and up to six thousand dollars per year for educational expenses.
Not every 21-year-old may be passionate and concerned about water conservation, but Hector is, “I look around and I see that that’s one of our biggest issues where – say California – they didn’t manage it (water) correctly and it started going lower and lower. Just having that sustainable mindset would help out so much and I want to start that here in Phoenix and help it grow.”
Hector’s concern about a potentially severe water shortage in the Southwest, which is largely dependent upon the Colorado River for water, is shared by the U.S. Department of the Interior. According to the department, since 2000, the Colorado River Basin has been experiencing an historic drought that has impacted regional water supply and resources, such as hydropower, recreation, and ecological services. During this time, the Basin has experienced its lowest 16-year period of inflow in over a century of record keeping, and reservoir storage in the Colorado River system has declined from nearly full to about half of capacity.
Meanwhile, Hector credits his mom and dad for helping to propel his career trajectory, “My parents, they pushed me, and seeing how much they wanted me to do it made me work even harder in school so that I could finally come here to ASU.”
In addition to his parents, Hector says his Success Advisers (mentors) provided by College Success Arizona have also been very helpful, “They’re there whenever you need them. Whenever I have a problem with school or something I just want to talk to somebody about, they are there for me at whatever time.”
The scholarship from College Success Arizona is also helping Hector to avoid running up big student loan debt, “Thankfully with the scholarship and the help that it has provided me, I will be graduating with no student loans.”
On another note – a shy inward high school student emerges into an outgoing and assertive university scholar, is how Hector describes his transformation, “Having so much interaction here at the university, it helped me just meet new people and talk to them about whatever was going on at the time, and helped me grow out of my shell that I was in. Now I’m more talkative, less shy, and my public speaking has improved greatly.”
To middle and high school students considering their own college path, Hector says:
“Do not give up. Going to university will help boost you into the career path that you would want to live the rest of your life in.”