By Paige Ochoa & Lindsey Su,
Many Davis High students remember senior Jerred Leroy Vargas as the guy decked out in 49er gear and carrying a speaker blaring hip-hop music on his shoulder. However, Vargas was much more than that.
In addition to being a fellow student, Vargas was a brother, a son, a friend and a die-hard 49ers fan. Born on Dec. 5, 2000 in Woodland, Vargas had 19 years of life before he passed away from a gunshot wound on Feb. 13, 2020.
Vargas joined the Davis community in 2016 and attended Harper Jr. High as an eighth grader. This was the start of Vargas’ impact on the community around him and the legacy he left.
Vargas worked two jobs to help take care of his family and saw how important it was to be a good role model for his siblings. Although he always listened to others, he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. His loud personality and confidence was infectious and created a positive environment for his peers.
“He was a person who definitely made mistakes in his life, but the cool thing was, he was going to graduate and in spite of the mistakes he made, he was responding to his mistakes with courage and an open mind and a willingness to do things differently then he had before, which is a pretty rare quality,” ACES teacher Spencer Elliott said.
Vargas was working hard to be the first high school graduate in his family. He had been improving his reading skills with Elliott and always came into class with an energetic attitude, ready to take on any challenges that arose.
“He brought great energy to the class. It could be a day where everyone was feeling tired and lethargic, but he just came in like a loud boisterous way, having things to talk about. I appreciated that about him,” Elliott said.
Vargas made an effort to get to know the people in his life. He didn’t only foster relationships with his friends and family, but also his teachers.
“He would always ask me how I was doing, it wasn’t just one time, it was almost every day. It was like he needed that, that check in with me in a way. Maybe he didn’t do that with other teachers, I don’t know, but I mean I could really count on one finger the number of students that have done that, and that was Jerred,” auto shop teacher Robert Thayer said.
Vargas will continue to be remembered by the Davis community for his powerful personality and unforgettable energy. A memorial service will be held at Holy Rosary Church in Woodland on Feb. 19 at 10 a.m.