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From Rebellious to Responsible

by Katherine Lown

Once a troublemaker who despised school, one young Ecuadorian’s life now looks completely different as he realizes the importance of responsibility and of doing his best.

Cesar Èscobar easily recalls the moment that changed his life forever. Having spent much of his early education skipping classes and failing courses, Cesar’s lifestyle was one of avoiding any kind of responsibility. While in high school, he was kicked out of school, began drinking and was in two car crashes. It was a talk with his grandpa that finally began to open Cesar’s eyes and show him the need to make changes in his life.

“My grandpa, he talked to me. And I’m named after my grandpa,” Cesar said, emphasizing the importance of representing the name well. It gave him pressure to be good.

The talk made him realize he needed to make something of his life, not just be a child, and to respect things. His grandpa took him to the family company, introduced him to workers and staff members and showed him that he has to be responsible in life.

One year later, Cesar’s grandpa died.

“That moment when he passed away,” Cesar paused. “I have to be an extremely…good guy. It changed my life.”

Cesar’s bad grades rapidly went up, he attained a good GPA, and he was even elected as president of his high school. “[I] became a total different person, changed irresponsibility, the way I handle my life. Everything changed.”

After graduating high school in his hometown of Puyo, Ecuador, Cesar went on to study math and physics in Quito, where he finished a marketing degree. He moved to the United States in fall of 2015 and speaks English fluently for having been here less than a year. Currently, Cesar is taking classes at Pellissippi State, but plans to further his education at UT or in Miami.

However, there are things Cesar very much misses from home, especially the culture and the food from South America. “I am done with the hamburgers and the pizza and the french fries,” he said.

For the most part, Cesar says he likes it here, but “being here in TN, it’s like a cultural impact because people here are weird,” Cesar added. “You have really close circles of friends, you’re not an open person. If you’re in Knoxville, be friendly.”

Cesar is working his way up to eventually managing a business. The company that his grandpa handled, and that was later passed on to his father, will eventually pass on to Cesar when he is ready to take it over. Careers in business run in the family for the Èscobars.

“It’s in the blood,” Cesar smiled.