Edgar Vigil '11

Proud to Serve
Senior Edgar Vigil doesn’t live his life on the sidelines. His academic pursuits are supplemented by his profound desire to live life on the edge. Since arriving to GMC from his hometown in Marlboro Mass., he’s showcased an enormous effort to better himself, but – even more so – to better the lives of others through his unflinching willingness to serve.

“My goal in life is to help as many people as possible,” he says. But Edgar is by no means a typical Psychology major; he believes that helping people mentally and emotionally goes hand in hand with improving their physical well-being. Edgar has started an on-campus program that would do just that.

“Well I always hear people saying that they want to get in shape, but there’s no program in place to motivate them,” he says. After personally doing the “P90X” and “Insanity” workout routines, Edgar decided to share the techniques with the college community and promote physical fitness. “I was going to be doing this workout anyway – even if no one else showed up. So it made sense to give people a chance to get involved.”

As part of an independent study for this semester, Edgar will be teaching a workout routine in the Waldron Athletic Center gym twice a day, five days a week. Edgar explained that anyone can come and that the workout uses no weights, just the weight of your body. The sessions last about an hour and are held Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

In addition to that, Edgar volunteers as a firefighter – something he was introduced to shortly after arriving at GMC. It became an instant passion. “I like high-risk things,” Edgar says. “I already liked to play with fire, so I thought I might as well learn how to put it out.” In addition to the initial training required, the job also demands that Edgar be on-call at certain times – making the unpredictable winter months the busiest time of the year.

Yielding to his creativity once again, Edgar found a way to combine his love for firefighting with his interest in psychology. While Edgar was responding to the scene of an accident, he had heard about On-Site Academy – an organization that specializes in therapeutic stress management for firefighters who may have been seriously affected by a critical incident. There are training centers scattered throughout the country – one of which is located in Gardner, Mass., only an hour or so away from Edgar’s home.

Over the summer, Edgar interned at the On-Site Academy by counseling the responders through their very difficult experiences – a process referred to as debriefing. “We all had a bond as firefighters. It allowed me to just let those guys talk about themselves. They spend so much of their time thinking about other people that they never get a chance to think about themselves. That alone goes a long way,” says Edgar.

In addition to that, Edgar has also volunteered at Crossroads – a private school for children with autism. He is also an avid member of the lacrosse team. After graduating at the end of this semester, Edgar plans on implementing his altruistic sensibilities into whatever career path he takes by continuing to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

By Chad Skiles ‘12

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