Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention
Alberto "Beto" Vasquez is the youngest of four children born to Mexican parents and was raised in Logan Heights. Once a high school dropout, he has overcome homelessness, incarceration and addiction and managed to change the trajectory of his life.
Vazquez recently graduated from UCSD obtaining a master's degree in biology and ultimately plans to fulfill a doctoral degree and pursue a career as a community college professor & administrator. As such, he is committed to becoming a role model; to his four kids, his community and as a professional in higher education. He is an educational advocate for marginalized groups and a great proponent of diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
He is very active in the community and has assisted with designing programs and events (for currently and formerly incarcerated individuals and men of color in STEM), and uses his story to motivate others – specifically at-risk populations. Within the community, he is involved with grant selection committees, various board positions with local non-profits and as a community organizer works closely with probation, parole and a myriad of other agencies. He currently serve as Co-chair for the Warden’s Community Advisory Board at RJ Donovan Prison, President for the Nosotros Alumni Association (a nonprofit committed to assisting men in recovery), Founder/Co-advisor of the City College SACNAS Chapter (a program committed to increasing diversity in STEM) and Urban Scholars Union (an education-based support group for ex-incarcerated students). Nationally, he has collaborated on several education-based workshops, trainings and conference presentations. He is a fellow of Just Leadership USA, a national organization committed to cutting recidivism rates.
He has worked in the non-profit sector, local government and higher education; and has been instrumental in successfully implementing programs supporting underserved communities. He is currently employed with the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) at the University of California at San Diego, where he spearheads the university’s efforts to increase STEM diversity, access and interest to disenfranchised communities throughout Southern California.
Vazquez actively uses his lived and professional experience to serve as a motivational speaker, class instructor, professional development facilitator, author and director of equity grants – locally, nationally and internationally.