Alexis Vasquez, a 2022 graduate from Ánimo Jackie Robinson Charter High School, plans to attend the University of California, Berkeley. He plans to enroll in the school’s business program as part of his goal of becoming an entrepreneur. He is one of several seniors we interviewed from Green Dot Public Schools California, who shared their college plans and high school experience.
How did you come across the decision to go to UC Berkeley?
It was spontaneous. I always wanted to go, but I was never like, okay, I am going. Then I found out UC Berkeley ranked number eight in best business schools in the nation. This is ideal. I didn't even think about it. When [the acceptance letter] came the next day, I accepted. After reviewing the financial aid offer, I was like, this is where I am going, and now it's time to figure out the rest.
How did you end up choosing Economics as a major?
I started working at a young age and always felt like I didn't like working for someone else. I want a bit more freedom, and I feel like by going into business or economics, you can learn skills that you'd be able to apply to yourself and your own career that would give you freedom later on.
What is your dream job or dream plan?
I dream of opening up some kind of business, whether it is some type of firm or a restaurant.
What are you looking forward to on campus?
I'm looking forward to meeting new people, learning where different people come from their backgrounds and walks of life, and trying to put myself in their perspective.
What are you most nervous about preparing for this new chapter?
My biggest fear and concern is leaving my family behind and being alone. Like, I'm not gonna see them daily anymore.
How did Ánimo Jackie Robinson prepare you for college or this point in your life?
Oh, they played a significant role. I wouldn't have gotten that far without the support of some of the administrators. At Ánimo Jackie Robinson, they played a key role; always encouraging me to take certain classes, sign up for specific programs, or have them believe in me helped me a lot, too.
Everyone is super close. Obviously, you don't start like that in your freshman year, but you eventually start to become family throughout the years. Since it is a small school, you get to know everyone. And it's always jokes, but when you need support or have a big event coming up, you're always going to have people to count on. People that will be like, you got this in, you know, keep pushing forward.
Do you have a teacher or someone in particular that really helped you or a class that you really liked?
There are like three; I would say there were two administrators and a teacher who really helped me. It was Mr. Xavier Lovo, my counselor. Mr. Daveon Logan played a significant role in helping me and AP World History with Mr. Brian. That class was just amazing.
What words of encouragement would you give the class of 2023 next year when they start applying to college this summer?
I would say slow down and enjoy the process because it's very hectic when you start applying to colleges and if you like, take your time with it. You know, you're not rushing basically through everything will be much more enjoyable, and you just won't be as hectic.
Is there anything you'd like to share?
Something on my mind moving forward is to take care of your mental health. Focus on yourself and enjoy the activities you want to do. Don't worry about schoolwork for certain days because there are days when it does become overwhelming. I just want to keep that in mind as it gets more complicated at a university level. Focus, and it's okay to have an off day from time to time.