Vasco Aspillaga, an eleventh grade student here at Leesville, moved from Peru less than a week before the 2019-2020 school year began. You thought your freshman jitters were a real thing? Try coming to a new country just in time to begin your junior year of high school, then talk to Vasco about how he must feel.
Having lived in Peru since a child, that was all he had ever known, and all his family had ever known, coming from Peru as well. Being an only child, Vasco was close with his other relatives, who now live in San Francisco and Miami. Vasco, his mother, and his step-father packed up their belongings to come to America in hopes for a better place to carry out their dreams. His mother, a flight attend, and his step-father, the owner of a small business based out of Raleigh chose Leesville due to its “good environment with nice people,” he explains.
Vasco misses the abundance of good food and beautiful locations such as Machu Picchu the most about his move from Peru, describing his former country as his idea of “paradise.” At his old school back in Peru, Vasco was part of the International Baccalaureate and Mall of United Nations programs, giving him a connection to America prior to his move this past summer. Vasco has been invited to Harvard Law to debate politics and discuss pivotal conflicts in our society today.
He understands, however, “that it also has its defects that need to be corrected,” referring to political instability present in the country at the moment. “All my time in Peru, I noticed the economy and politics are passing a hard time in comparison to the United States,” he said, yet Vasco chooses to look at all these new changes in America with a positive mindset, because “it is always good to adapt with change,” he further explains. Those new changes being a new school with new students, new responsibilities, a new schedule, and a new town.
Vasco expresses how kind and welcoming everyone has been at Leesville to him and states that “it is always good to have a change in environment sometimes, and to be able to adapt to new beginnings.” Vasco hopes that his move to America fulfills turning his and his family’s dreams and goals into a reality.
Now in America, Vasco hopes to change himself into a more professional character, desiring to “see how Americans live, and turn all [his] values in life into actions for the future.” He dreams of entering into the medical field with the goal of becoming a diplomat for the United Nations in the World Health Organization.