THE STORY is textbook Americana, as old as the republic.
Jose D. Vargas is Loyola College's first Rhodes scholar, a big honor for the small Baltimore institution.
But his achievements and ambitions are also noble.
Mr. Vargas is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who has been in this country eight years.
He graduated from Magruder High School in Gaithersburg and became interested in science as he taught himself English. He plans to become a doctor and help fill a need for bilingual physicians in his adopted country.
The 20-year-old senior was among 32 students awarded the prestigious scholarship. They will spend two years studying at Oxford University in England.
Another recipient in the area is Carla J. Peterman, a senior history major at Howard University in Washington. She is that school's first American-born Rhodes scholar; a previous winner was from Bermuda. She plans to study international development and hopes to help poor countries grow without polluting the planet.
Both young public high school graduates have already enhanced their surroundings by their accomplishments.
The scholars are inspirations at a time of despair among many of their peers. They are examples of how barriers can be overcome and dreams realized.
Not every student can be a Rhodes scholar, but what a goal to strive for.
Pub Date: 12/08/98