Now, as she prepares to graduate from Sparks High School, Garcia’s drive for learning has continued to serve her well. The class valedictorian with a 4.89 weighted grade point average is going to Colgate University in New York in the fall to eventually become the first in her immediate family to earn a college degree.
Garcia was born near Los Angeles, the daughter of two Mexican immigrants. When she was 2 years old, the family moved to Sparks.
Little did Garcia know at the time that she would have a future at Sparks High School participating in six clubs and taking all Advanced Placement classes her senior year, except for one. In her one non-AP class, Garcia helps grade other students’ work.
Her field of study in college is still up in the air, Garcia said.
“I chose Colgate because when I was a sophomore they started sending me stuff,” Garcia said. “And they had a really good astronomy program … and that was when I was still into astronomy.”
While the 17-year-old Garcia has not declared a major yet, or even chosen her classes, she said she enjoys math the best.
“I like math … and I am good at memorizing the facts,” Garcia said. “Everyone recommends engineering for me.”
She said she also chose Colgate because they offered the best financial incentives.
Less than two weeks before graduation, she is still unsure how her valedictorian speech to the graduating class will go.
“I’m a bit insecure so I am not sure how me of all people can get up there (and give that speech,” Garcia said.
However, some of the advice she would give those wanting to excel academically includes just going for it.
“You can’t be lazy,” Garcia said. “Just do it.”
As she prepared to give her valedictorian address, Garcia found one quote that struck her as profound. She isn’t sure if the translation is quite right, since she found it written in Spanish and attributed to Pierre Augustine Beaumarchais, but it fits the occasion.
“Do not look at where you came from but where you are going.”