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Robert Vazquez

2013 Changing Perspective

ROBERT’S STORY

Rob Vazquez found his way along Evergreen Road.

Rob considered himself a “troubled youth” and attended a high school that was tailored for adult and community education.

The University of Michigan-Dearborn senior landed in that particular school because he missed more than half of his freshman year of high school.

The odds were stacked against Rob, but his determination to succeed inspired him to worker harder and graduate. His grades quickly improved and that helped him transfer to UM-Dearborn.

“This campus has really achieved something if it has helped make me love school as much as I do now,” he said. “Despite my journey, it wasn't until I attended UM-Dearborn that I truly found myself. This is where I actually found my love for academia and my love for social change.”

His determination to succeed, combined with his leadership ability, has earned Rob the title of “Difference Maker.”

“UM-Dearborn has allotted me copious amounts of freedom to grow as a leader,” he said. “I cannot think of another school that allows students to nurture such great connections with their administrators.”

Rob has honed his leadership skills through the university’s Blueprints program. The nine-month program provided Rob with the drive to accomplish great things on UM-Dearborn’s campus.

That includes creating a health-conscious organization, which organizes group workouts and other engagement activities under the umbrella of health and wellness.

Rob also speaks with incoming transfer students at UM-Dearborn about the importance of campus involvement and leadership. His compassion for others has caught the eye of the campus community.

“Rob truly cares about the students on this campus and spends his time trying to help others,” said Jamie Ward, communication lecturer.

Case in point–Rob helped organize an event where students across campus anonymously filled out cards with uplifting messages during finals week. Rob and other volunteers placed the messages in between books, on desks and alongside people who looked like they could use a boost.

“His passion for helping others, changing campus culture and leaving an impact on those around him has forever altered the university landscape,” Ward said.