Bay Area school named after immigrant rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — It was a packed room full of parents, teachers, and members of the local community celebrating the opening of the Jose Antonio Vargas Elementary School in Mountain View, CA.

This undocumented immigrant is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, best selling author, successful filmmaker — as well as an immigrant-rights advocate through his nonprofit group, Define American.

Vargas says having a school named after him is the biggest honor he has ever received.

“This means the world to me, and the fact that it’s a mile from where I grew up, in the town I grew up in, in a town that has more Filipinos in it. And I made a real effort in the speech even to little kids to talk about there was a time in this country when Filipinos were not allowed even though we’ve been in this country before there was a United States of America.”

Friends and family of Vargas came from all over the country to celebrate this historic occasion.

“This event that was given is not just for his family but for his family,” said Aida Abaga Rivera. “This is a big, big honor and pride for all of us. Mabuhay!”

Parents and children were able to take a look inside the new classrooms and play on the new field.

“It is an entirely new building, all new facilities. We have two stories over there and it looks wonderful. There’s still some construction projects on the way in terms of the field but we’re so excited to have a brand new school,” said principal Vern Taylor.

Sarah Reginaldo, the president of the Parent-Teacher Association and whose children will be attending Vargas elementary, said she is proud of what the school represents.

“Having chosen him and his undocumented status it shows that this community values what you do more than the labels that are put on you.”

For Vargas, the school will always remind him of his humble beginnings.

“The irony is that the school is for Kindergarten to 5th graders and I was in the Philippines for those years. I guess whoever God is that’s God’s way of trying to remind me that I was a kid. And the fact that I’ll be part of their lives and they’ll be part of mine, I don’t have words for that. What a blessing.”

Classes at Vargas Elementary will officially begin on Monday, August 19th.

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  • Mario
    21 August 2019 at 6:15 am - Reply

    Jose Vargas Elementary School name after JOSE VARGAS, a victim of political exploitation by the Democrat Obama Admin. They used him big time, to deliver Democrat messages for votes. After 8 years of OBAMA regime they just throw him out and remained ILLEGAL ALIEN until now…. There will be a 2020 Election, whether, he hate Trump or not he has NO CHOICE, he should vote for Trump, because it is about his future IMMIGRATION REFORM. As TRUMP said” Whether you like me or not, you have NO choice, you have to vote for me, If I lose the election you lose your 401K, retirement plan and your lifetime savings, US economy will stumble into the ground. After TRUMP victory on 2020 election, hoping a GOP control House, Vargas a DACA recipient, will be qualified for a GREEN CARD holder. After 5 years, he can file for US Citizenship. From thereon,he can VOTE and RUN for a political position. Easy victory for him, the Elementary School is named after him, wish him luck.