Angel Luiz Vazquez: 'Shoot for the stars'
Angel Luis Vazquez
Seaside High School
Seaside High School Senior Angel Luis Vazquez will be the first in his family to attend college. A lifelong student in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, he attended King Elementary (now Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School of the Arts) and Seaside Middle before promoting to Seaside High.
In November 2022, Angel participated in Seaside High’s First-Gen Celebration Week recognizing first-generation college students, and he says, “It feels pretty good to be the first one in his family to go off to college.”
Angel’s parents immigrated from Mexico to the United States to start over, and he says, “It seemed really really hard for them.” Angel saw his older brother experience challenges in school and seeing the differences between when his brother went to high school compared to his experience inspires Angel to pursue college and make his parents proud.
“I enjoy sports, mathematics, and computer science. Those three things I do everyday,” beams Angel. It is all so exciting for him, especially the sense of community he feels from his coach, teammates and peers at Seaside High.
Angel started thinking about college in his sophomore year, but didn’t seriously consider it until this year because he thought he had time. He just learned last year that he could earn an associates of arts degree while in high school. “The freshmen me would have loved that,” he says, “I didn’t know about that or realize I had all these opportunities,” and he encourages peers to take advantage of them now.
“I would tell freshmen if you see an MPC class or a dual enrollment option, don’t be afraid of it, take it because there is so much support from the college and career center,” Angel says.
The college and career center was a hidden gem for Angel. He did not know about the free tutoring in English and math or college application assistance until older friends shared about it with him. “I always saw the doors closed and I was afraid to go in,” he says. Currently he is meeting with staff to ensure his college applications are strong. “They don’t want you to submit until they have a chance to review and help you,” Angel says.
Angel’s reach school is Stanford, but he is also applying to UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, CSU Monterey Bay and Monterey Peninsula College.
When asked if he wanted to share anything with his peers, Angel says, “Just shoot for the stars. There is so much support here (at Seaside High). It doesn’t matter what academic level you are, there is always someone there to help you.”