LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — From athletics to acting, life at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus is a stage for Pedro Tavarez Jr., a second-year Honors Program student. The criminal justice major, who dreams of becoming an FBI agent, has made his presence known around campus by participating in a variety of clubs and activities.
“Since I came here, I have been achieving many things and reaching many goals,” said the busy Bronx native, pausing for an interview between classes. Among Tavarez’s many activities, he most recently snagged the lead role in "All’s Well That Ends Well," the spring Shakespeare play being presented by the Lion Players student acting troupe. In addition to serving as the stage manager for "All’s Well," he was a featured performer in the Lion Players’ fall show.
“I love the spotlight,” admitted Tavarez, who has been acting and dancing since middle school. As many people on campus know, he can do a pretty good imitation of the King of Pop and will readily demonstrate his ability to moonwalk like Michael Jackson, a role model. He credits Jackson’s performing style for inspiring him to learn how to dance — and more: “It helped me master the stage.”
Tavarez has dreamed of being on TV shows and in movies since he was little, and the stage was even set for him to get a taste of stardom when he auditioned for a new show at Nickelodeon Studios last year. After the network flew him to its headquarters in Orlando, studio executives offered him a spot on a children’s show, according to Tavarez.
But he declined that shot at fame in order to pursue his education. Shortly after returning home from his audition, Tavarez was surprised to receive another call from Nickelodeon Studios asking him to audition again after graduation.
When not attending classes or studying, Tavarez does all sorts of things at Penn State Fayette. This semester, he and three classmates founded the Fitness Club to promote a healthy lifestyle. He also currently sits on the Student Activities Fee committee and serves as the diversity chair for the Student Government Association. In addition to his membership in the Christian Club, he is captain of both the wrestling and cross-country teams.
“I just love being involved in so many activities; it’s an honor and a privilege to do that,” Tavarez said. Between classes, clubs and athletics, he also manages to find time for a work-study position with the campus security department and a job as a resident adviser at the University Commons apartments.
Some classmates wonder how he does it all. “I spend my time wisely,” said Tavarez, who added: “I make sure all my schoolwork is done first — before anything else.”