Garcia plans medical career while mentoring peers
Garcia received the award for her outstanding grades and social skills at the YAL.
The Compton High School freshman said biology is her favorite subject.
“Science is easy, in my opinion,” Garcia said. “Chemistry looks fascinating, and I plan on taking all the available courses offered in school.”
Her ultimate goal is a career in medicine.
“I want to be a pediatrician,” Garcia said. “When I am done with high school I plan on attending UCLA and major in pre-med.”
Garcia boasts a 3.8 grade point average, and said history remains her primary obstacle.
“Facts and dates are very challenging,” she said. “I take my time, listen to the teacher, and keep up with the homework.”
Organization, she said, is Garcia’s secret weapon.
“I review notes in class, and refer to them when I study at home,” she said. “If I have a problem the teachers help me.”
Sophomore year presents new challenges,
Garcia said, and getting more involved in student activities is on her list .“The debate team looks interesting,” she said. “I also want to join the marching band.”
Garcia said her parents support her endeavors.
“They check on my studies every day,” she said. “My parents like getting involved with my subjects, and seek additional support when they do not understand the topic. Their involvement makes me happy.”
The turning point in Garcia’s academic career came during middle school.
“I decided that learning motivated me,” she said. “Some kids get bored in school. I put in the extra effort because I want to be a successful adult with a rewarding career.”
Garcia is the second oldest in a family with six children, and she offers motivation to her siblings when she can.
“I have an older sister in high school, and she tries hard,” she said. “My younger brothers and sisters need advice sometimes, but I do not impose my opinions on them.”
Being a peacekeeper at the YAL is one way she enhances the lives of children at the center.
“Friends having problems at home sometimes need help,” Garcia said. “The same thing happens at the YAL. Friends start fighting, and we sit down and fix it.”
YAL leadership, Angelica Garcia, Domeyers Brown, Anna Bernice and YAL Director Ben Sahile offer positive support and leadership for every child.
“Miss Angelica is always there when I need homework help,” Garcia said. “Domeyers helps me with computer research and printing out reports, and Miss Anna knows how much I love singing, and she helps me express myself creatively.”
Sahile offers her conflict resolution, she said, and is her role model when helping others.
“When I get mad he consoles me,” Garcia said. “He is our counselor offering great advice. He is on my side.”
The message she carries to her friends each day is to stay motivated for the future.
“My family does not have a lot of money, like many kids in Compton,” Garcia said. “Where you come from has no bearing on your destiny. Education and friends are the backbone of success. Without it, we would be lost.”
YAL Director Deputy Ben Sahile said Garcia gives back to the organization every day.
“She sets the example with her studies, and inspires other children to maximize their potential,” he said. “Her leadership skills demonstrate the values we teach every day.”
The Compton YAL is free to children who live in the city. Stop by 700 N. Alameda St. between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday for more information.