By Troy Wilde
May 15, 2017
Tucson, AZ – Anselmo Vargas is planning on spending his working life in an environment that can be volatile, visionary, and change peoples’ lives forever. Technology.
Anselmo explains, “I would love to work for one of the major tech companies such as IBM, Apple, and Microsoft. I feel that those are good companies to work for, but if I could be a systems administrator for another company, I feel like I would enjoy that job too.”
Anselmo, age 22, was born in Hollister, California but grew up mostly in Yuma where he graduated from Yuma High School in 2012. Anselmo graduated from the University of Arizona (May 2017) with a Bachelor Degree in Science in Information Systems.
Anselmo says his interest in gadgets and technology goes way back, “It definitely developed at a young age. I didn’t play sports and I wasn’t very social I guess. So, I just mostly stayed inside the house and played around with hardware and old computers. My dad went to a lot of auctions and he would bring back old computers that they had auctioned off, and I would just open them up and play around with them.”
Meanwhile, transitioning from high school to college and in a different city did have its challenges for Anselmo:
“There’s an emotional and psychological aspect to leaving home and living out on your own for the first time, which is something that a lot of people don’t expect. It’s more exciting being out on your own, but it also makes you realize what a strong and supportive family you left back at home. Probably, the roughest part of the transition from Yuma to Tucson was having to learn to depend on myself.”
However, Anselmo has enjoyed living in Tucson, “There’s definitely a lot more to do here, but there is also a lot more traffic. Tucson is a beautiful city and has a lot more history to it, as compared to Yuma. I like Tucson a lot because it’s a bigger Yuma, but not a big city like Phoenix. But, I’ll likely end up living in a bigger city because they have more demand for startups and small businesses who require and I.T. people. So, I feel that I have more opportunity in a big city.”
Anselmo says attending the U of A was also a time of self-discovery, “In college you definitely find yourself and what kind of person you’re going to be. If you’re an introvert you learn that you’re going to stay indoors, and if you’re an extroverted person you’ll probably go out and socialize. Either way, you definitely learn how to accept yourself.”
Anselmo is among the many students who have earned scholarships from College Success Arizona, “It’s the only reason I was able to go to college, and I could not have done it without College Success Arizona. I had to take out some loans during my junior and senior year, but without College Success Arizona, I would be in a whole lot more debt.”
The scholarship provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses, and also specialized mentoring services from a team of talented “Success Advisers.” Matt Sotelo is Anselmo’s adviser, “As I went through some stuff, Matt was very understanding and very helpful. Through those kinds of challenging experiences you definitely learn to appreciate your adviser. He may not seem like a friend at the moment, but the fact that he’s there to listen and there to help, shows that Matt has done more for me, than my ‘so called friends’ have done for me.”
Now a college graduate preparing for his work life and reflecting on his life, Anselmo says he owes a lot to the Boy Scouts of America, “I used to be a Boy Scout and reached the Eagle Scout rank. My leader there definitely helped me by showing me some morals and characteristics of the type of person that you want to be. I truly believe that the people you’re around when you’re young can have a major impact later on, and so I definitely feel that being a Boy Scout helped me to become a better person, and who I am today.”
Since 2005, College Success Arizona has worked with nearly 1,300 students, and provided more than 16 million dollars in scholarships and success services to help increase the college attainment rate in Arizona. If you would like to be part of the mission of providing educational opportunity to high potential students from low income backgrounds, your tax deductible contribution can be made through the “Donate” button on the top of this page. Your support can help change lives.