Spare Parts

by

Joshua Davis

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Spare Parts can help.

Oscar Vazquez Character Analysis

One of the four students who compete in the MATE competition as a part of the Carl Hayden robotics club, along with Cristian, Lorenzo, and Luis. Oscar and his mother, Manuela, followed his father Ramiro to the United States when he was eleven years old, leaving behind his sister Luz and his brother Pedro. They were given green cards for other people and shepherded over the border by two older women in a bus. His mother was not happy in the U.S. without her daughter, though, so the pair returned. When Luz married, Manuela wanted to give Oscar more opportunity, so they journeyed once again to the U.S. with the help of two coyotes. In high school, Oscar proves himself a natural leader in the high school’s Junior ROTC. But when he finds out from Major Glenn Goins that he cannot enlist in the army because he is undocumented, Oscar seeks out a new group to lead. Oscar joins the robotics club, helping to ground the younger students’ ideas and doing crucial outreach that gives the club more funding and provides them with necessary equipment. Oscar graduates high school just before the robotics competition, and soon finds himself working as a day laborer. When Joshua Davis breaks their story in Wired, readers donate scholarships and Oscar subsequently attends Arizona State University, getting married to Karla Perez while he is in college. When his tuition increases based on changing immigration laws, the school helps to support him. After he graduates, he realizes that he will always be haunted by his immigration status, and so he decides to deport himself to Mexico. While working hard as a bean picker, he applies for residency in the U.S. and is rejected. Following this, Senator Dick Durbin introduces the DREAM Act and tells Oscar’s story to rally support. The bill fails, but Durbin then reaches out to Immigration to ask them to reconsider their stance on Oscar’s application. He subsequently is granted residency, and afterwards is able to finally enlist in the army as an American soldier. Oscar is the exception, not the rule, of undocumented immigrant kids who are able to find a path to legal residency.

Oscar Vazquez Quotes in Spare Parts

The Spare Parts quotes below are all either spoken by Oscar Vazquez or refer to Oscar Vazquez. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of Spare Parts published in 2014.
Introduction Quotes

There were teams from across the country, including students from MIT, who were sponsored by ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded company. The Latino kids were from Carl Hayden Community High School in West Phoenix.

Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

He had lived in Phoenix for six years and thought of himself as an American, even though he’d been born in Mexico. His parents had snuck him into Arizona when he was twelve. No matter how many push-ups he did or how fast he ran, he couldn’t outpace the fact that he was a fugitive, living in the country illegally, and therefore barred from enlisting.

Related Characters: Oscar Vazquez
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

As a NASA employee, she had become accustomed to working with engineers who conformed to a sort of industry standard: white, well educated, conservative clothes. These four teenagers standing in front of her signaled that the future looked different.

Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
One Quotes

In his nineteen years as an ROTC commander, Goins had never met a finer student than Oscar. He embodied everything the military was looking for: leadership, intelligence, dependability, integrity, tact, selflessness, and perseverance. […] “Oscar had it all,” Goins remembers. “His only drawback was that he wasn't a U.S. citizen.”

Related Characters: Major Glenn Goins (speaker), Oscar Vazquez
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

I've got to create something that doesn't compete with other science centers; it's got to compete with the World Series and the Super Bowl. I’ve got to find a way to make science and technology cool.

Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:
Two Quotes

The whole point was to give the guys a chance to accomplish something beyond what they thought possible. But if they showed up at the event and failed utterly, it would only reinforce the impression that they didn't belong in the contest in the first place. That could leave a kid such as Lorenzo with a permanent sense of inferiority.

Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:

For Lorenzo, the robotics team was like a new family. In some respects, Fredi and Allan were surrogate parents, constantly advising him and pushing him to do better. […] A team spirit had developed. Lorenzo wasn't the only one sitting in the front row of his classes.

Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:

Fredi was impressed. It was a practical, cheap, and ingenious solution. […]

“You did it,” Fredi said, clapping Lorenzo on the shoulder.

Lorenzo responded with a big smile. “I did it.”

Related Characters: Lorenzo Santillan (speaker), Fredi Lajvardi (speaker), Oscar Vazquez, Cristian Arcega
Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:

“It needs a name,” Lorenzo said.
Oscar remembered Lorenzo’s choking on the glue fumes and suggested, “Why don’t we call it Stinky?”

Related Characters: Oscar Vazquez (speaker), Lorenzo Santillan (speaker), Cristian Arcega, Luis Aranda
Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

The group also offered some of the same benefits of being in a gang. Now that he hung out with Luis on campus, Lorenzo found that other students were less likely to make fun of him.

Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:
Three Quotes

It reminded them that they were doing something they had never done before. In Phoenix, they were called illegal aliens and pegged as criminals. They were alternately viewed as American, Mexican, or neither. Now, for a moment, they were simply teenagers at a robotics competition by the ocean.

Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 158
Explanation and Analysis:

But in this moment, Oscar realized that Lorenzo was intensely committed. Good engineering solutions had value. But, to Oscar, doing things that no one else wanted to do, toughing it out and being a soldier, that's what counted.

Related Characters: Oscar Vazquez, Lorenzo Santillan
Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:

Stinky represented this low-tech approach to engineering. But that was exactly what had impressed the judges.

Related Symbols: Stinky the Robot
Page Number: 176
Explanation and Analysis:
Four Quotes

“If the really long list of immigrant inventors who have made this country and the world a much better place is to stop here and now, we will also likely become the newest declining nation,” one reader commented.

Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:

This extraordinary young man—a mechanical engineer who won a national competition, a person who can add something to America, who has a wife and family here, who is doing the right thing by going back to the country of his origin even though he has little connection with it anymore—is being told: America doesn't need you.

Related Characters: Dick Durbin (speaker), Oscar Vazquez, Karla Perez
Page Number: 211
Explanation and Analysis:

In reality, life is more complicated. The attention paid to the team as a result of their victory coincided with a backlash against immigrants in Arizona.

Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Spare Parts LitChart as a printable PDF.
Spare Parts PDF

Oscar Vazquez Character Timeline in Spare Parts

The timeline below shows where the character Oscar Vazquez appears in Spare Parts. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Introduction
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
On June 25, 2004, Cristian Arcega, Lorenzo Santillan, Oscar Vazquez, and Luis Aranda stand in a classroom at the University of California, Santa Barbara,... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Swean asks a question about signal interference, which Oscar answers as the team’s de facto leader. Oscar is seventeen (two years older than Cristian... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Though Oscar wants to enlist in the Army and has been living in America for six years,... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Cristian answers most of Swean and Spence’s questions, but Spence also notes that Lorenzo and Oscar are able to speak intelligently about their robot’s mechanical and electronic components. About half of... (full context)
One
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
In 1996, nine-year-old Oscar Vazquez wakes up to a big fire outside. His father, Ramiro, is going to butcher... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
...be sold to finance Ramiro’s journey to the United States. A week later, he leaves. Oscar’s mother, Manuela, quickly falls into a depression. Oscar’s older brother Pedro doesn’t help out much;... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...works on a potato farm in Idaho and sends $100 a month back to Mexico. Oscar misses his dad. He is in fourth grade and a standout student, even winning a... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
A few weeks after Oscar’s eleventh birthday, Ramiro calls and says he’s being deported. Oscar is excited to have his... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
In January 1998, Oscar boards a bus with Manuela. Luz insists on staying behind with a local boy with... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
The next day, an older relative meets Oscar and Manuela and introduces them to two women, who hand them green cards. A few... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Oscar, Manuela, and the two women stop at a Circle K store next to a freeway... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Ramiro arrives and hands the ladies an envelope with two thousand dollars. Then he drives Oscar and Manuela home to a one-bedroom apartment with peeling paint, a dirt yard, and neighbors... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Oscar attends Isaac Middle School, but he doesn’t speak English. Within a few weeks, he gets... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Oscar cries all the way to the border. Back in Mexico, he readapts to his life,... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...until Luz returns with her new husband, beaming. Manuela starts to shift her focus to Oscar. She is hesitant to return to the United States but knows that there is more... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
In December 1998, Oscar and Manuela return to Agua Prieta. The ladies who had helped them cross before have... (full context)
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
Sitting in the plaza, waiting for Ramiro’s friends, Oscar tells Manuela that he doesn’t want to go back. She points to a child with... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Ramiro’s friends help Manuela and Oscar find two men claiming to be coyotes. They look more like addicts to Oscar, and... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Oscar, Manuela, and the two coyotes climb through the hole in the chain link fence. They... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
As the sun sets, Oscar grows more and more afraid. The temperature starts to plummet. After what feels like hours,... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Manuela and Oscar walk around to the front of the building, which they discover is a Walmart. They... (full context)
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
Oscar returns to Isaac Middle School. He doesn’t make many friends, but he does start to... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Oscar graduates from Isaac Middle School to Carl Hayden. He tries out for the football team... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
Oscar signs up for the ROTC, and Major Glenn Goins, the group’s instructor, welcomes him into... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...that many of his charges can’t enter the military because they are not American citizens. Oscar doesn’t know this, however. He views himself as American and wants to give back to... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
At fourteen, Oscar asks Major Goins if he can enlist. Goins asks if Oscar has a green card;... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
When Oscar is a junior, he and his battalion go to an Army base to run an... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
At the end of Oscar’s junior year, Goins awards him the Officer of the Year trophy—but it isn’t enough to... (full context)
Mentorship Theme Icon
...In 2002, he stops coaching and shuts down the electric car program. In 2003, Cristian, Oscar, and Lorenzo walk into his science classroom. (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
...grow outlandish, Fredi sees that the young students might need some leadership.  He mentions to Oscar, who is in Fredi’s senior Marine Science Seminar, that there are students building a catapult... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Oscar is impressed with their designs but sees that the catapult they want to build is... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
At the pumpkin field, neither Cristian nor Oscar miss Lorenzo much. Both of them think that there’s no excuse for being late. When... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
...seems to want his help. He doesn’t know Cristian or Lorenzo, but he does know Oscar, who is friendly to him despite his intimidating size and silence. When Oscar tells him... (full context)
Two
Mentorship Theme Icon
The group is daunted, but Oscar tries to be optimistic and motivational. Still, even Fredi and Allan are privately nervous: the... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Fredi and Allan tell the kids of their plan. Oscar wonders why they want to go up against the best school in the country; Fredi... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
Oscar takes charge, determined to do better than not finishing last. Their first task is to... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
...that he is competing in a NASA-sponsored underwater-robotics contest and writes a check for $100. Oscar stops by the mattress factory at which his father works. Oscar spent his summers there... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Oscar agrees that this could work; Lorenzo beams with pride. Cristian points out that it won’t... (full context)
Mentorship Theme Icon
Oscar takes charge in making the calls. He googles laser tape measures and comes across a... (full context)
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
When Oscar calls, he speaks with Greg De Tray, who has formed Distagage recently. He had never... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
Oscar asks De Tray if his range finders work underwater. De Tray doesn’t know, but he’s... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
...significant value before. He never thought that random strangers would be interested in helping him. Oscar is simply grateful and tells De Tray how much they appreciate the offer. (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
To complete the temperature-reading task, Oscar tracks down a thermometer supplier in Connecticut. He speaks with Frank Swankoski, a temperature engineer... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
...device to them, saying that he believes they can beat MIT. When Swankoski hangs up, Oscar looks at the rest of the group and says that they have to believe in... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
In November, Fredi takes some of his marine science students, including Oscar and Luis, to see the ocean. On the drive, Oscar and Luis bond talking about... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
The ocean is mind-boggling to Oscar and Luis. They have seen it only briefly and have never been in it before.... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...a variety of objects. Emboldened by the experiences of talking to De Tray and Swankoski, Oscar asks if Rodocker would consider lending them one of his prototypes. Rodocker easily agrees. (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Back in the car, Oscar and Luis marvel at their good fortune. They have seen the ocean, become friends, and... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Oscar returns to the robotics closet and resolves to put the checkpoint incident behind him. He... (full context)
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
Luis drives to Home Depot and buys twenty dollars’ worth of PVC pipe. Luis, Cristian, Oscar, and Lorenzo gather in the robotics closet. Cristian sketches out the ROV and calculates the... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
...controls, stabilize the robot, and limit voltage loss. Lorenzo says that the idea is “badass.” Oscar is nervous, but when Cristian says that if they can’t waterproof a case to hold... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
...ROV task is the hardest: extracting a liquid sample from inside a barrel while hovering. Oscar and Cristian are pretty sure the task will be impossible, so they assign it to... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Oscar and Luis take on the problem of propellers. At first, they reason that they need... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Fredi suggests that Oscar and Luis consider trolling motors, which are used for fishing boats. They are efficient and... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
Oscar and Luis then push around a piece of wood in a sink to figure out... (full context)
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
Oscar and Luis find one final piece: a plastic briefcase that claims to be waterproof up... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
...needs to be cut, and so the team buys a pipe cutter. Cristian, Lorenzo, and Oscar discover that they’re not strong enough to cut the pipe. They have to cut eighty... (full context)
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
...after the students begin the ROV project, Dean Kamen releases his annual FIRST challenge. Cristian, Oscar, Lorenzo, and Luis are part of a larger team participating in the FIRST challenge at... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
...importantly, they have a lot of fun. They pose for pictures in downtown Atlanta, and Oscar organizes the team in a human pyramid in the middle of a public square. He... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
...they do that, it will be difficult to make changes. They only have one chance. Oscar drills the team with practice runs of putting the robot together quickly, as the glue... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
The school year is coming to an end and Oscar and Luis are graduating just before the MATE competition in Santa Barbara. Each has to... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
...into position, but there’s a problem: the pipes leading to the briefcase don’t line up. Oscar is frustrated with himself; they hadn’t tried to fit the briefcase when doing their dry... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
...the heat gun off, the PVC hardens into place exactly where it needs to be. Oscar compliments Lorenzo on the idea. Lorenzo says that their robot needs a name. Oscar remembers... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
...a problem and marvels at the unusual crew filing into her facility: Cristian, Luis, Lorenzo, Oscar, Fredi, Allan, and Michael Hanck, who is there to help pilot the robot. (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
...and collides with the wall. Stinky floats to the surface, and its electronics stop responding. Oscar tries to put a positive spin on the situation, saying that once they figure out... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
...also takes accurate depth measurements, retrieves a piece of pipe, and deploys the tape measurer. Oscar makes a list of tasks and ranks them based on importance and feasibility. At the... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
...their departure, and they have just lost one of their drivers. The team decides that Oscar has to be the other driver, as Lorenzo is operating the sensors and Luis is... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
...can between classes. They race over and start practicing, given forty-five minutes between two classes. Oscar starts to try, but quickly crashes into a wall. He puts too much force on... (full context)
Three
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...expensive robot, predominantly white team, and matching shirts, they look like the embodiment of power. Oscar tells him to focus as they practice. Their presentation is later in the afternoon and... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
...come out after only twenty-five, Allan and Fredi see it as a bad sign. But Oscar tells them that they did great, answering the judges’ questions perfectly. Allan and Fredi assume... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
Before they start their repairs, the team grabs some dinner. On the way to dinner, Oscar leads a brainstorming session. They need something that’s small and superabsorbent to soak up the... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
After dinner, Oscar pushes Lorenzo into a grocery store to buy the tampons. He approaches a woman, who... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
...need to pull all of the joystick wires and reconnect them, which will take hours. Oscar volunteers to stay up and do it, and Lorenzo offers to join him. Oscar feels... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
By the time Oscar and Lorenzo have completed fifty wires, it is two in the morning. They take a... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Luis stays by the pool while Cristian, Oscar and Lorenzo monitor Stinky on their video screens from the control tent. Cristian notes a... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Oscar and Cristian move on to measuring the submarine. They are able to hook the tape... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Most of the remaining tasks involve entering the submarine, and so Oscar suggests they check the barrel for the liquid sample, even though he had suggested doing... (full context)
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Curiosity, Creativity, and Adventure Theme Icon
The balloon is sitting in the milk carton, full of liquid. Oscar removes it and they measure the fluid. Their sample is slightly diluted, but they receive... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
The moment is bittersweet for Oscar. His eighteenth birthday is days away, whereupon his legal status in the United States will... (full context)
Four
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Eight months after the ROV competition, Oscar is working on a construction site as a day laborer. He feels stuck. He has... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
In February 2005—before the Wired story breaks—Oscar falls in love with Karla Perez, a junior at Dysart High School and the cousin... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
The money sent in by Wired readers allows Oscar to enroll full-time at Arizona State University. He majors in mechanical engineering but finds it... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Proposition 300 drives Cristian out of college, but Oscar had already distinguished himself at the university, and a variety of groups within the school... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
In May 2009, when Oscar graduates, President Obama gives the graduation speech for ASU’s fiftieth commencement. Christine Wilkinson, the university’s... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...to give up the endeavor to “find the greatness that lies within each of us.” Oscar listens intently. He realizes how upset he would be to lose everything he loved if... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
On September 1, 2009, Oscar walks back into Mexico for the first time in ten years. He and Karla go... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Oscar returns to his childhood home. He finds a job picking beans for $3.80 a day.... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
A week later, Oscar receives the official word. He has been found ineligible for a visa and is banned... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Oscar is hired to supervise a portion of an assembly line at a car parts factory... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Teamwork, Friendship, and Motivation Theme Icon
Mentorship Theme Icon
Allan calls Oscar, who tries to get him not to worry. But Allan’s wife Debbie quizzes Oscar on... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Oscar’s supporters start a letter-writing campaign to convince the government to reverse his decision. CNN picks... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...even make it to a vote. In 2010, Durbin reintroduces the bill and talks about Oscar on the floor of the U.S. Senate. (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...contacts the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services and asks them to reconsider their stance on Oscar’s application. (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
In July 2010, Karla checks the mailbox as she leaves to visit Oscar for three days. Amid a stack of bills is an envelope from Immigration. When she... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Oscar returns to the U.S. in August 2010, after a year in Mexico. Allan and Debbie... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
Two months after his return, Oscar realizes that he can now join the Army. With a college degree, he can even... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
In May 2011, Oscar is training to be a cavalry scout when he becomes a U.S. citizen. He swells... (full context)
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
On November 29, 2011 Oscar boards a plane for Afghanistan and is deployed to a remote outpost at the base... (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...a backlash against immigrants in Arizona. Propositions 200 and 300 had a direct impact on Oscar and Cristian. Oscar ultimately graduated from college; Cristian did not. (full context)
Underdogs and Overcoming Odds Theme Icon
Immigration, Prejudice, and the American Dream Theme Icon
...years after beating MIT, Lorenzo works as a cook at an upscale restaurant in Phoenix. Oscar completed his tour in Afghanistan and left the Army in 2014. He works as a... (full context)