By Amber Paramo
Former East Los Angeles College valedictorian and football player Kevin L. Vejar was selected to be the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony on June 9 at Weingart Stadium.
Vejar is a Registered Nurse Care Coordinator in the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder program at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Long Beach.
Raised in the East Los Angeles community, Vejar attended Malabar Elementary and was accepted to Loyola High School, where he graduated with a 4.1 GPA.
After spending four years in the Navy, he began his career as a student and pursued learning in the nursing field at East Los Angeles College.
Vejar earned his degree in Nursing at ELAC in 1981 and was selected as the co-valedictorian for his graduating class of ’81. Vejar shared that honor with the woman who is now his wife.
Vejar played center in the 1979-80 ELAC football teams and was voted co-captain on the ’80 team.
He volunteered most of his life as a football coach for different high schools including Garfield and Alhambra.
On his journey to higher education, he received two master’s degrees and one bachelor’s degree. In 1986, he received his Bachelor’s in Sports Medicine from California State University, Los Angeles, along with his Master’s Degree in Nursing in 2001. He received his second Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management in 2003.
Vejar currently works with patients who have PTSD and other mental disabilities within the Military Veteran Community.
Vejar helps veterans with the very delicate and difficult issues dealing with PTSD among other disabilities and factors that many veterans face today.
Vejar served in the community while working at Alhambra Community Hospital, White Memorial Medical Center, Methodist Hospital of Southern California and Huntington Memorial Hospital.
“Vejar continues to promote the highest level of quality care through commitment, compassion and professional practice as he outreaches to promote and advocate for the rights, health and safety of veterans, patients and nurses,” ELAC alum Carilla Clements said.
Clements nominated Vejar as one of the three candidates to speak at graduation. “Vejar is an example of what ELAC has produced and continues to inspire in future student generations.”