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El Mundo Boston 2018.

ALEXANDER ZAPATA

Vice President, Citizens Bank

Adjunct professor, Suffolk University

Age: 28

Heritage: Dominican-American

 

Notable Accomplishments:

  • Leadership Awards from the YMCA and Girls, inc.

  • Founding member of the Equity Lab Charter School

By: Alejandro Ramirez

 

Alexander Zapata never made honor roll before learning he would become a father the summer heading into his senior year of high school. When his girlfriend– now his wife– told him she was expecting their first child, Zapata realized it was time to get serious about his future and made honor roll by the end of his senior year of high school.

 

He worked for a year after high school and became a banker while enrolled at Curry College for night courses, graduating in 2012. Though originally pursuing a career with the police, he decided to stay in the banking industry, through which he was advancing quickly.

 

“I thought, ‘you know what, I really do like this finance thing, I’m able to help people,’” he said.

 

While the 28-year-old has been a Citizens Bank employee for most of his career, he also owned a small business in Lynn and spent time working at Citibank.

 

The Dorchester native is now vice president at Citizens Bank. After a brief stint in Lynn, he returned to the “Dot” and now sits on the board of directors for the local YMCA, the same one he used to visit as a child, as a financier.

 

“It was like a second home for me. That kept me out of trouble a lot,” he said. Recently, he helped the YMCA lobby the city of Boston for 50 free memberships to provide to local kids

 

Zapata received his MBA from Suffolk University in May 2017. A professor invited him to teach night courses as an adjunct professor at the university’s entrepreneurship program. Zapata always thought he’d end up teaching someday, but didn’t expect the offer to arrive so early. Still, he accepted the role.

 

“It’s a perfect opportunity and another way to give back… and to develop,” he said.

 

He’s also a founding member of the Equity Lab Charter School, which is set to open in Lynn in the fall of 2018, and sits on the board as the finance and operations director.

 

Zapata is proud of his run for state representative while living in Lynn. Though he didn’t win, he campaigned to support small businesses and increase Latino representation in politics.

 

“I spent a good portion of my career lending to and helping small business owners. And a

community like Lynn, where so many small business owners are Latino, I wanted to empower

them and make sure their voices are heard... I was very thankful for that opportunity,” he said.