Ivan Vazquez graduated from Compton College in June 2018, earning his associate degree in only three semesters while spending a good deal of that time on the Tartar soccer field. He plans to complete his education at a four-year university majoring in Business Administration. In the future, he hopes to become a mentor to young, talented athletes who lack a support system and guidance to achieve their goals on and off the playing field.
Vazquez has had a life full of obstacles and adversity. "Growing up in Compton, life was hard for me," Vazquez said. "I was raised in an immigrant family, and it was difficult for my father to provide everything for seven children." After becoming homeless at 16 years old when his mother had a stroke, things only got more difficult for Vazquez. He spent the following two years in and out of juvenile facilities.
Vazquez got a break when he was offered a job as a machinist at a pharmaceutical company, where he has continued to work while continuing his education. He believes majoring in business administration will help him grow within the company. Working while going to college has enabled Vazquez to take care of not only himself, but also help care for his mother.
Vazquez was a 2018 recipient of a California Community College Academic Athletic Advising Association (3C4A) Achievement Award. The 3C4A achievement award honors student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic and/or emotional odds to achieve success while participating in intercollegiate athletics.
Compton College Athletic Counselor Shay Brown nominated Vazquez for the award. "What struck me during my initial meeting with Ivan was his determination, dedication, and 'can-do' attitude. The task ahead of him at the time was one few could accomplish, and he never wavered, continuing on to complete his degree in three semesters," Brown said. "Always with a smile, he treats others with respect, kindness and encouragement on and off the soccer field. Ivan has integrity, gratitude, and great appreciation for his education and the opportunities he has been given as a student athlete. He is a role model for others and has overcome a lot to reach and move forward with his goals."