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Assistant provost to be Gage Park High Commencement speaker

Posted: 05/21/2014

Israel Vargas, assistant provost for college access and targeted recruitment programs at Roosevelt University, will deliver Gage Park High School’s commencement address June 7 at the Arie Crown Theatre.

Vargas, who grew up in the Gage Park area, said that he would talk to the graduating seniors about how earning a high school diploma is a rite of passage that will lead them into adulthood and the next stages of their lives.

“I will congratulate the students and encourage them to take this earned opportunity and make the most of it by further refining their knowledge,” he said.  “They now are equipped to make a difference in our communities and the world.”

Vargas holds two degrees from Roosevelt, a bachelor’s degree in 2006 and a master’s degree in Training and Development in 2008. Before joining Roosevelt, he was executive director of San Jose Obrero Mission.  His passion for helping others has led him to speak against violence and to advocate for higher education at schools, churches and community events throughout Chicago. Vargas has participated in cease fire marches in Cicero and has received an Award of Excellence by the Office of the Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and recognition by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations Advisory Council on Immigrants and Refugees. Located at 5630 S. Rockwell St., Gage Park High School serves the Chicago Lawn, New City and Englewood neighborhoods.  It has 555 students.