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College graduate thanks parents for his degree and accomplishments

“They taught me that nothing comes easy. If you want something in life you have to go for it.”
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 5:32 PM MDT
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MOSCOW, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —In the upcoming weeks, many students from across the Gem State will be graduating from college, and trying to make a difference in the world for future generations.

KMVT had the opportunity to meet up with one young man who hopes his degree not only improves the lives of others but his family too.

Twenty-two-year-old Evando Vega of Rupert will be graduating from the University of Idaho later this month with a degree in Forestry and was also selected as this year’s Outstanding Senior in the program. He doesn’t even have his degree in his hand yet, and he already has a job lined up with the U.S. Forest Service to work at the Fish Lake National Forest in Utah.

“That’s what I want to do. I want my office to be out in the field. This is my calling. I want to be working in the woods every day,” Vega said.

He said his goal is to one day be in charge of implementing strategies to prevent wildfires and increase wildlife habitats. Idaho and nearby states have seen their share of wildfires this past year.

“I think what is exciting to me the most is being able to improve forest health for recreation, and know it’s not just going to be for me but my kids, and everyone else’s generation,” Vega said.

His father Martin is from Mexico and his mother Shirley was born and raised in Idaho, and neither was able to graduate from high school, but his mother did later receive her GED. However, his parents stressed to him and his siblings(Martin Jr and Ariana) the importance of education at an early age.

“My husband and I said your school comes first. That is what we want you to do, and we don’t want you guys to go out and play around and take school lightly,” said Shirley Vega.

The twenty-two -year old is now proud to say he is the first in his family to graduate with a degree from a four-year college, and he hopes he can pay back his parents one day for the sacrifices they made for him and his siblings.

“My goal is . . . get a career that hopefully pays well that way when my parents do retire I can take care of them because they took care of me,” Vega said.

He said, in the beginning, he was nervous about college and being away from home, but his twin brother Martin Jr, who has an associate’s degree from CSI, said he knew his brother would be okay.

“He was the more responsible one. I mean we raised cattle and stuff with my dad and at a younger age he was the first one out there,” said Martin Vega Jr. “When he started walking he was already following my dad, picking up responsibilities. He had that mindset already.”

Vega said he learned his work ethic from his parents. His father comes from an agricultural background, and his mother is a factory worker. He said he remembers as a young child both of his parents working 50 to 60 hour works to support the family. Vega said his father learned English so he could put himself in a position to get better-paying jobs in factories.

“They taught me that nothing comes easy. If you want something in life you have to go for it because no one is going to take you by the hand and say, ‘here is this opportunity for you’,” Vega said.

His commencement ceremony is May 15-16, and during his time at U of I, he qualified for the Dean’s List. Vega said his sister Ariana also attends the university.

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