Being at least 30 years his senior, I always felt a motherly protection over Jose.
He graduated from Mountain View High with scholarships and acceptance to San Francisco State. He proudly went off with a laptop given to him by Rich Fisher, the school district superintendent.
I followed Jose's success at SF State and then his next steps to the Philadelphia Daily News, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Huffington Post! And then, voila, the Pulitzer Prize!
I felt so proud of our local guy.
And then last year I read of his personal disclosure. He told the world he is an undocumented immigrant. I realized quickly why he was so modest with my accolades.
Last week I followed him again to Mountain View High School. There I saw a very mature, 31-year-old, articulate Jose speaking to a capacity crowd. He was filled with passion and insight into his cause, "Define American." He views himself as "a walking, uncomfortable conversation." He spoke with facts, ideas and determination. It was easy to see he has become a pioneer in this national challenge of immigration.
Jose is making a difference in our society.
I feel like a proud mother would, only hiding behind the scenes.
Kudos to you, Jose Antonio Vargas, our local guy in the flip flops.
Judie Rachel Block is a sales representative for Embarcadero Media, publisher of the Voice.
This story contains 418 words.
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