As an Aneurysm and COVID-19 Threatened His Mom’s Life, This 10-year-old Persevered
When Santiago Vazquez discovered the internet went down at his home in Tulare, that didn’t stop him from attending his online class.
The 10-year-old grabbed his Chromebook and climbed into the car of a family friend, who drove him around town until they found free Wi-Fi. His fifth-grade teacher, Melissa Graham, started her Zoom lesson for that third week of school and saw Vazquez working from the backseat of the car.
Graham offered to excuse Vazquez for the day, but he declined. This was typical of Vazquez, who has consistently worked hard, excelled and set examples for his classmates while at Wilson Elementary School, even when facing personal challenges, she said.
About a week earlier, Vazquez’s mother, Lizette Lorigo, had suffered a brain hemorrhage. Doctors then discovered Lorigo also had COVID-19.
“He was (in the car) trying to juggle his binder, computer and get his work done,” Graham said. “He exemplifies responsibility and going forward with what needs to be done regardless of the circumstances.”
Because of the strength Vazquez showed, Graham nominated him for CHARACTER COUNTS!, a nationwide program that recognizes those who exhibit good character.
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