UT San Diego has named MiraCosta College student David Garcia as Young Latino of the Year at the 2015 San Diego Latino Champions Awards ceremony.
Garcia immigrated to the United States when he was five years old and has lived in the Libby Lake Community his entire life. In March of 2013, Garcia was shot seven times, including a bullet to his head at Libby Lake Park.
After recovering, the once “aimless” kid used his traumatic experience as a wake-up call and began focusing his time and energy to serving his community. Garcia helped launch the STEP UP mentoring program between Project REACH high school students and Libby Elementary students.
“David has been a Project REACH Libby Lake student for about eight years now,” said Jaime Figueroa, program supervisor for Project REACH Libby Lake, and one of the individuals who nominated Garcia. “He serves as a youth mentor and speaks at events in San Diego about his story, education, his faith, and community engagement.”
In June 2014, Garcia became the first member in his immigrant family to earn a high school diploma.
“Before the shooting, David had a 1.5-2.0 GPA; after the shooting, he graduated with a 3.66 GPA and completed over 100 credits in one year to graduate with his class,” said Figueroa.
Garcia received a $5,000 scholarship along with the award to help with costs while attending MiraCosta College. He hopes to go to law school and work in criminal justice or immigration law.
For more information, contact Cheryl Broom at 760.795.6612.