The Vasquez Family Legacy
July 31, 2015
From left: Susana, Federico, and Pablo at Wentworth's 2015 Annual Awards ceremony
By Greg Abazorius
Federico Vasquez is the father of two current Wentworth students, Susana and Pablo, and he will be among other proud parents on August 16 when his daughter earns her diploma. Federico himself knows the feeling of pride that comes with earning a Wentworth degree, having graduated from the Mechanical Design Technology program in 1982. But his family story might have taken a different shape had it not been for a critical decision in his earlier life.
Born in Colombia, Federico moved to the United States as a young man and attended college in Texas for two years. Unsatisfied with the curriculum and his inability to stand out as a student, Federico was drawn to Wentworth and its experiential teaching style.
“Dad is very hands-on,” said Susana Vasquez Trujillo, BCET ’15. “An education at Wentworth was a better experience for him.”
After graduating, Federico returned to his native Colombia and opened a mechanical shop. A few years later, he joined banana merchant Banacol, where he worked on the mechanical systems involved in the processing and packing of bananas.
“The skills I learned at Wentworth placed me ahead of all my colleagues when I returned to Colombia and had to compete for jobs with engineers,” Federico said. “I gained my colleagues’ respect and I was also able to mentor others.”
During this time, Federico and his wife welcomed twins, Susana and Pablo. The children were seven years old when the family moved to the Philippines and Federico began work at produce company Lapanday Foods. Federico was responsible for creating a box plant used for shipping bananas. He found great success at the company, eventually rising to the level of president.
In the meantime, Pablo and Susana were busy taking classes in both Spanish and English. As they grew older, the two began considering colleges and found that their wish lists lined up much the same way they did for their father in the early 1980s.
“I wanted a small school where I got to know my teachers and peers. I also wanted to live in the city and I was interested in specific majors. Wentworth met all the criteria I was looking for,” said Pablo, BELM ’16.
Federico added, “Seeing my twins make the dean’s list and receive the grades they have achieved has been incredibly rewarding as a father. It’s been even more rewarding knowing that it’s at the same school I attended over 30 years ago.”
For the past three years, Federico has worked for his own company in Ecuador with the goal of providing a fair economic deal to produce farmers by buying directly from them. While he is proud that his children attend the same school he did, he has also encouraged them to forge their own paths and be active in civic endeavors. Susana has spent much of her Wentworth career giving back—she helped organize a Red Cross drive for typhoon victims in the Philippines, took part in an on-campus new student civic engagement program, and conducted a drive for the Greater Boston Food Bank.
Pablo, meanwhile, felt it important to return to his roots, living in Colombia during his junior year of high school. “It was a moment that has defined who I am,” he said.
Pablo has since spent time working at Massachusetts General Hospital and Rockwell Automation through Wentworth’s co-op program. Susana has a job lined up at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger after she graduates.
Asked if he could have achieved his success without a Wentworth education, Federico replied, “Absolutely not. The Wentworth education took me higher than I even dreamed.”