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Francisco’s Fit

Francisco Figueroa-Vazquez (’18)

Francisco Figuerora-Vazquez didn’t begin his college career right after high school. He served in the United States Marine Corps for five years before pursing his undergraduate degree at Fitchburg State. He graduated in spring 2018 with a degree in psychological science, but says he owes a lot of his success to the support systems he found at the university.

Arriving here in his mid-20s, Franco worried that he would feel out of place among his traditional college-age peers, but was immediately relaxed by the camaraderie on campus. He points to our student veteran center as a key resource, which proved to him that Fitchburg State takes veteran affairs seriously, and also supports their endeavors.

Franco also cites the campus tutor center as one of the services that was able to provide direct assistance. Tutor sessions helped reassess his knowledge of the English language, an exercise he says improved his writing mastery by forcing him to consider many different approaches.

His advisor took long-term interest in his career goals, recommending the post-grad study of clinical sociology over clinical psychology in order to best prepare him for a career in veteran support.

On what advice he would offer incoming Fitchburg State freshmen, Franco simply says “eyes up.”

“Society has changed and made everyone reserved. Stop. Put yourself out there. You never know who can help you. Go out there and talk to people.”