Vega provides helping hand to EG community

Paul Jonas, Editor-in-Chief

When describing the work of senior Luis Vega, Spanish teacher Ricky Castro’s words ring powerfully.

“He’s the wonderful story of a quite kid who finds his voice by serving others, of what it means to step out and find yourself,” Castro said.

Vega’s presence at the Oasis Mobile Home Park’s summer camp one summer demonstrated the senior’s willingness to help out. Vega combined his love of cooking with his sense of duty and offered to cook for the camp.

“He was on top of all of it, without any recognition,” Castro said. “That’s who he is. He has a strong identity, he knows who he is and he does exactly that.”

With a senior class swamped of talented artists and athletes, some of the outstanding individuals in the class of 2019 lead by example. Vega is one of those seniors who stand out for their contributions to the Elk Grove community.

Helping out the outreach towards future EGHS students, Vega has served the community faithfully during his four years of high school. As an avid member of Estudiantes Unidos, Vega’s journey towards his future career in education has been molded by his experiences in helping the young people of his community.

Vega points to his work during summer camps as the foundation of his service.

“We get to read books, play games like soccer, and do other activities and arts and crafts,” Vega said.

The goal of these camps is to set an example for the kids who are in a similar situation to Vega in his own early life.

“We try to make a positive impact,” he said. “We try to give back and make them confident in their learning.”

The feeling of helping others is something that Vega now cherishes.

“I feel very good about myself, I know that I am making a positive impact on the little kids.” Said Vega

Vega credits Castro with helping start his journey in community service, and it was through Castro’s Spanish class that Vega heard about joining Estudiantes Unidos.

“He was the one who motivated me to try it, and I wanted to see how it went,” Vega said. “I really enjoyed it in the end. I didn’t know what I was expecting but I had great time. It’s nice to see kids having fun.”

Vega plans on continuing his service as well as helping and teaching similarly-aged kids in the future. He is looking to pursue education at National-Louis University.

Castro has known Vega for all four years, and so it was him that was able to see the growth of Vega throughout high school.

“He’s a quiet type, he doesn’t like the spotlight,” Castro said of Vega. “But as the years have progressed, he’s become more of a leader, and the way he has achieved this is by doing what he needs to do, and constantly getting better at it.”

Through the mentoring of young students and helping in other forms of service, Vega has settled nicely into the club’s leader role.

“He’s become a better relater, but also he is able create relationships with students that help achieve our mentoring and motivational goals,” Vega said. “He’s one of the pioneers of our summer community camps, and he’s able to be an example to children in his own community.”

Castro explained that through his service to the community, Vega was also able to grow as an individual.

“He’s been able to step out and be more comfortable with himself,” Castro said. “As you serve it forces you to come out of your comfort zone.”