My name is Eda Garcia, and I am currently a rising junior at Claremont McKenna College. I am a native Houstonian, and Texas will always be home, but I have been living in California for the past three years. I am currently interning with Momentum Education as a part of the Post-secondary Persistence team. In other words, I work with incoming first-year college students to ensure they have the necessary resources to succeed.
Growing up, I realized that not every student had the same access to opportunities. For my fourth grade year, I attended a primarily white institution in Bellaire. It was then when I realized that I was not like my classmates. I would hear about my friends being part of the dance team, gymnastics team, and swim team. When I asked my mom if I could also do that, I was informed that it was not in our budget. Although there may have been some opportunities within our reach, my mom and I did not know where to look; nonetheless, the language barrier would always hinder us from asking the right questions, primarily when it depended upon a nine-year-old. I believe that students should not be limited from achieving their fullest potential. That being said, there are numerous opportunities and resources available, and I want to be able to support students in their path to success.
Any advice to students who are starting college remotely?
Over the last two months, I’ve learned about the difficulty that exists when it comes to staring at a screen for an hour and being expected to process information simultaneously. However, despite the struggle, for me, it’s essential to think long term. The main thing that has helped me has been finding my motivation. In other words, why am I choosing to do this? And the answer to that question is that I want a better future for myself without having to settle for the minimum.
Any words of wisdom to students now that you are an upperclassmen in college?
I was in eighth grade when my high school counselor told me: ”when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” and I have not forgotten that ever since. College is a different playing field from high school, and you quickly realize that your competition has not only grown, but it has also increased in range; however, it is essential to not fall into imposter syndrome. You are there for a reason, and your bad experiences do not define who you are. On the other hand, it is what you make out of those experiences that will impact your life, good and bad.
— Eda Garcia, Class of 2022