Someburros launches campaign to pay for students' textbooks

The new Tempe location will reimburse students $250 at the end of the semester

Someburros, the family-owned Mexican chain restaurant, will open a new location close to ASU’s Tempe campus in early February with a program to pay for student workers’ textbooks. 

The Rural and Apache location is the eighth in Arizona for the Phoenix-based chain. George and Mary Vasquez opened the first Someburros in 1986 using George’s parents’ restaurant as an inspiration, according to their website. Now, George and Mary’s children run the business.

The new store held a job fair on Saturday, looking to fill up to 50 positions. As part of a campaign called Burros for Books, Someburros' new location will reimburse student workers $250 if they end their spring semester with at least a 3.00 GPA, according to a press release. 

Amy Vasquez, vice president of Someburros and a 2003 ASU alumna, said this program came about because her family feels a responsibility to give back to the community.

“We know that it’s not cheap to be a college student,” Vasquez said. “This is just our chance to give back to the students.”

She said Someburros is happy to reward the academic success of hardworking students. While Someburros may not be a long-term employer for most students, she said a job the restaurant teaches valuable lessons applicable to any career.

“You can tell the people that have had that kind of customer service experience and those who haven't, but it’s absolutely beneficial in every single field that you can go into,” Vasquez said.

She said Someburros would consider continuing the program in the future if the first semester is successful.

Haley Vial, business management freshman, said she jumped at the opportunity to work at a place that rewards her for doing well in school. She was just hired at the new location as a counter worker.

“Someburros is all about family,” she said. “I feel like they are going to be more understanding than other jobs would be.” 

Vial estimates she spent nearly $400 on books last semester. She said in the last couple weeks, she has purchased two books costing $100 each and is not done buying textbooks for the semester yet. 

CollegeBoard estimates the average student at a public university spends over $1,000 on books and supplies over four years. The average price of a new textbook for the 2015-16 year was $80, according to the National Association of College Stores.

Vial said it has been difficult to come up with the money to pay for school, so this job was a great opportunity for her.

Cody Larkin, PR Manager at AWE Collective, where Somburros is a client, said the goal of the program is to promote a culture where students are encouraged to succeed in school.

He said the ideal candidate has a flexible schedule, can be full time or part time and is good with people, hard working and determined. 

“It’s about recruiting top talent and encouraging good academic success but also giving back to something that’s been a big part of the Vasquez family’s life, which is this great school, ASU, that we’re so lucky to have in Tempe,” Larkin said. 

 Reach the reporter at or follow @mackinleyjade on Twitter. 

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