William Vargas has worked for OIT for 23 years as an IT Specialist. Currently, he works in IT Workforce Development as a member of the Technical Team. Mr. Vargas’ family has strong military roots, as his father retired from the Venezuelan Army as a Colonel.
Why do you believe Hispanic Heritage Month is important to recognize?
I believe celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is greatly important because it helps educate the American public about the contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx communities. It also benefits those US-born citizens that are descendants of Hispanic and Latinx cultures.
I am native of Caracas, Venezuela, and my first language is Spanish. I use these language and culture barriers to motivate myself to work harder, to continuously improve, and to be a compassionate, caring person in all my relationships. I feel proud that after my parents went back to Venezuela in 1982, I was able to provide for my sister and me. In 1993, I proudly became a US Citizen. I put myself through undergraduate school full-time from 1995 to 1998.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to reflect and remember my ancestors, particularly my abuelitos (grandparents), who laid the foundation on which my family has grown and flourished. Hispanic Heritage Month also celebrates the evolving legacies of over 20 beautiful Hispanic American cultures that immigrants and their descendants have brought to the United States.
Regarding VA’s Mission — to care for those “who shall have borne the battle” and for their families and survivors — how does this resonate with you and inform your work in OIT?
I first came to VA’s Central Office 23 years ago to interview for an internship in the Technology Integration Office. As I was walking toward the VA Central Office headquarters building, I noticed a quote from Abraham Lincoln at eye level: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”
I feel this is one of the shortest and most perfect mission statements in history. During my internship interview, Lincoln’s quote resonated with me as I talked about my desire to serve our nation’s veterans alongside selling my skills.
Our commitment to digital and IT transformation is shaped by daily dedication to customer service and the close collaboration of our workforce, managers, and leaders. Ready to join us in improving Veterans’ care? Check out all current information and technology career opportunities on DigitalVA. You can also contact VA’s Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer at 512-326-6600, Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST or by submitting a resume to VACareers@va.gov.