EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 15, 2012

Record producer establishes scholarship for Lawrence youths

LAWRENCE — Urales Vargas is a pretty big deal in the music industry.

Vargas, also known as DJ Buddha, who grew up in Lawrence, is a disc jockey, record producer and song writer mostly for rappers.

Despite his success, Vargas, 32, has not forgotten his roots.

Vargas founded BEYOND Scholarship, an organization which recently gave scholarships to six students at Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School. BEYOND is an acronym for “Believers in Enlightening Youth Onto New Destinations.”

Vargas donated $10,000 to start the scholarship. The first six students to receive the $1,000 scholarships at a ceremony at the school were Nick Furnari, Eli Azzi, Chris Azzi, Justin Benitez, Jonathan Benitez and Emilio Joubert.

The school is hosting a night of musical entertainment tomorrow night at the Wyndham Hotel in Andover to add to the scholarship fund.

In a telephone interview, Vargas said he started the fund as a way to give back to Lawrence.

“I just hate when you ask someone, ‘Who are you helping’ and they don’t know. When I saw the kids and their parents, it meant so much to me because I know what they are going through,” Vargas said.

Vargas got the music bug from his father, Tirso, a musician and radio deejay on Spanish radio stations in Lowell and later on WNNW in Methuen. The younger Vargas started spinning records at the station with his dad and Vargas received his broadcast license from WNNW. Vargas became a DJ at local clubs as well the Methuen radio station and Jamn 94.5 in Boston.

But life wasn’t always easy. During his sophomore year at Central Catholic High School, he moved in with his dad and had to work to pay for school, which left him little time to study. He was a point guard on the Central’s basketball team, but flunked out of the team when his grades dropped.

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