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Oscar Vazquez

Oscar Vazquez


Oscar Vazquez, one of the four Mexican immigrant high school boys featured in the book and film Spare Parts will speak at Edgewood High School (EHS) Sunday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. in the new EHS McKinley Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public. Vazquez will speak about his story as it relates to the EHS 2019-20 theme of “Truth, Justice, and Equity for a Curious Community.” Vazquez will also spend the following day meeting with and speaking to students at Edgewood High School.

Oscar VazquezSpare Parts by Joshua Davis tells the true story of a group of immigrant boys who, without experience and with limited funds, but with the support and encouragement of two of their teachers at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, entered a robotics competition. Not just any competition, but the expert level of the prestigious California Marine Advanced Technology Education Center’s “Remotely Operated Vehicle Competition.”  In a stunning upset, the group and their robot “Stinky” succeeded in winning against competitors from elite-level high schools and universities including MIT. Spare Parts was made into a movie in 2015 and was Edgewood’s “all-school read” for summer 2019.

As an undocumented immigrant, Vazquez chose to return to Mexico (leaving behind his wife and infant daughter) so that he could re-enter the United States legally with the intention of enlisting in the U.S. Army. He was able to re-enter the country as a “Dreamer” in August 2010 after a year working in Mexico, and he entered Army basic training the following February; he became a full citizen while in the Army. Vazquez worked to become qualified as a paratrooper and was deployed to Afghanistan and left the Army in 2013 He was invited by President Barack Obama to attend his final State of the Union address in 2016.