The 18-year-old, first-generation college graduate, graduated this weekend during TSC’s commencement ceremonies at the Jacob Brown Auditorium, where nearly 800 students received certificates or associate degrees.
“I never planned to go to college, much less become a college graduate, so this is a great surprise,” the Brownsville native said with a laugh. “TSC was the first school I called when I made the decision to enroll and I’m so happy I did.”
Having been born in Brownsville, but living half his life in Matamoros, Garcia moved back to the Rio Grande Valley when he was in middle school for a chance at a better education and to learn English.
So, at a young age, he left his family in Mexico and moved in with his aunt, the person who inspired him to pursue an education in construction.
“My aunt took me in like her own,” he said. “She has taken care of me, supported me and encouraged me. My new lease on life is definitely a way to thank her because I hope I can now get her the help she needs.”
Garcia’s aunt’s house was in despair and needed repairs, but the work completed was not done satisfactorily despite the high costs and he noticed the frustration and sadness it brought to his aunt, which is when he decided to pursue a career in construction to learn how to help his aunt and other like her.
“My goal is to get a career in construction so that I can help people like my aunt. People who sacrifice so much to fix what they have and hold dear to their hearts, yet are taken advantage of,” said Garcia. “I still have a lot to learn, but I promise I’ll to where I need to be to make this happen.”
In Construction Technology, Garcia has built a solid foundation with the skills and training he has gained in power tool usage, carpentry, painting and some electrical and structural work.
“I’ve learned a little bit of everything, enough to get my feet wet and to know that this career choice is the right one for me,” he said. “I’m confident in my skills, enough to know that if I had to start working now, I could do a great job.”
Garcia’s confidence is in the right place, said his Construction Technology instructor Daniel Zuniga, who recently awarded Garcia second place for the construction on his Adirondack chair and final project., which he gets to take home along with other wood working projects.
In addition to construction of an Adirondack chair, Garcia and his classmates have also had the opportunity of constructing and repairing a roof, a storage unit and house and building framework.
Garcia’s class also had the chance to build a giant TSC Scorpion Adirondack chair that is housed at TSC’s International Technology Education and Commerce (ITEC) Center to share with the TSC and local community.
“I have had enough positive learning experiences and hands-on opportunities to know that TSC is setting me up for a successful career; they genuinely care that I do my best and they set standards high,” said Garcia.
Which is why, Garcia will be returning to TSC in the fall to pursue an associate degree in Construction Management, so that he can continue working toward full-time employment in construction to eventually become a contractor and begin helping people like his aunt in the community.
“I want to learn everything I can because if not for TSC, I would probably be working in a factory in Mexico day in and day out…there’s anything wrong with that, but now I want more and I know that it’s possible,” he said. “Thank you TSC for giving me a new outlook and allowing me to set my eyes on new opportunities.”
For More Information about Construction Technology, Please contact:
Daniel Zuniga:Instructor-Construction Technology • ITECC 203 • 956-295-3543 • [email protected]
Emilio Rdz :Administrative Assistant • ITECC C300 • 956-295-3745 • [email protected]