By Bryce Fender
Calixto Vazquez (Cali) is the camp director at the Latin American Community Center (LACC). Due to his background in policing, business, and team management, Cali thought he could bring his diverse set of skills to the table at the LACC and help the summer camp.
From late August to the middle of June, you can find Cali at William Penn High School. Day in and day out he demonstrates more than just a passion for teaching, but an opportunity to develop the leaders of tomorrow. To Cali being a teacher is about more than just teaching. He believes he is a mentor to his students, helping them through the beginning parts of their life and “showing kids what is the right thing to be doing.” This same passion is what led him to be the camp director at the LACC.
When I asked Cali why he chose to be the camp director, he responded with “Because I am Hispanic and grew up as an inner-city child, I felt as if I could connect with the campers.” Every day in camp you will find him in classrooms engaging with the students. He has learned that there is a difference between being an administrator and a camp director. He doesn’t want to be in an office all day but instead wants to be with the children, helping them grow and develop. He can’t ensure that the camp runs smoothly without being all in.
The Latin American Community Center is on board with Teach For America’s Collaborative project to end summer learning loss. Cali stated, “The only way the Collaborative can go is up. We’ve learned a lot this year that we can use to make next year run even better than this year did. The Summer Collaborative is vital because without it, the kids wouldn’t have had near the same experience.” This is Cali’s first year at the Latin American Community Center and he can’t wait to see what the future holds.