Meet a Roadrunner: Andrew Garcia overcomes teen strife and earns college degree

Andrdw Garcia

Andrew Garcia

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(April 9, 2014) -- Meet Andrew Garcia. Much of his teenage years consisted of an existence in and out of juvenile detention centers and on probation for various criminal offense violations. At age 18, a judge recommended he pursue a G.E.D. and try and get his life in order. Garcia followed the judge's advice and thus began a new lease on life.

He enrolled at Alamo Colleges, and to his surprise, found himself embracing, learning and enjoying catching up on the knowledge he missed as a youth.

He completed two successful years and transferred to UTSA, where he became fascinated with the field of communication. Garcia decided to pursue a degree in public relations with a minor in nonprofits.

The new Roadrunner joined the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and made great friends, He became a major contributor to the organization and earned a position as a member of one of the PRSSA boards.

Additionally, Garcia has maintained a 3.0 GPA and assisted as a volunteer with the Fiesta Commission. The 25-year-old also enjoys assisting others in various capacities whenever called upon.

Garcia credits his success to the support of the communication faculty who took the time to meet one-on-one with him and have shown their support for him throughout his long educational journey.

Sallyanne Holtz, an adjunct professor of communication, calls him "one of the nicest, most caring and dedicated students" she has known over her nine-year career at UTSA.

"No matter what obstacles are in your way or whatever background you come from, everyone is special, and everyone is capable of getting whatever they want out of life, if they set their goals and set their mind to achieving those goals," said Garcia. "There are plenty of people in your department or at the university that are willing to help and point you in the right direction or provide the direction you need, if you just ask."

Garcia will walk the stage in May to receive his Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree. He plans to continue at UTSA with a graduate degree in the nonprofit or communication fields.

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Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at social@utsa.edu, and we will consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.