Jose Vazquez, Hamilton College

Featured Scholar

Summer 2012

Posse Scholar Jose Vazquez is a rising sophomore at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. Passionate about politics and determined to make a difference on campus, Jose was elected freshman class president this past year and quickly dove into the role, co-founding the student assembly’s philanthropy committee.

“I hope to establish a better bond with the surrounding community and encourage other students to pursue philanthropic causes,” says Jose, whose committee organized t-shirt sales, a dance marathon and a coin collection drive to raise nearly $3,000 for the academic and leadership diversity program at A Better Chance, a national education organization.

A government major and education studies minor, Jose is also helping to build community on campus as a member of the Black-Latino Student Union and as part of Hamilton’s Model United Nations team, which recently traveled to conferences in Boston and Montreal. He was one of three freshmen finalists for Hamilton’s McKinney Prize for public speaking.

This summer, Jose is interning in Washington, D.C., with Heart of America Foundation, a national nonprofit that works to promote volunteer service and literacy. The youngest intern in the organization’s history, Jose is part of a team responsible for renovating libraries in underserved schools. While in D.C., he will meet with Senator Marco Rubio, for whom he interned last summer, to discuss education. In addition, Jose volunteers twice a week as a math tutor.

Jose was reelected class president and next year will be a peer mentor for incoming international and first-generation college students. He will also continue his work with Heart of America Foundation during the school year to facilitate new library openings in Denver, Colorado, and Los Angeles, California.

“Posse gave me so many resources that, when I got to campus, I knew I had the upper hand,” says Jose. “I want every student to know that they have resources.”