It is funny how things have a tendency to work out for the better and for the month of November shows just how thankful some of truly are. I have a story I am working on that I feel is very important but didn’t want to rush it. Ms. Gracie Garcia was mentioned to me by someone here at Tech so I reached out, needless to say she was very excited but there was a lot of stress in her life at the time that quickly led to excitement. You see, November’s Alumni Watch just recently received the awesome news that she has passed the Texas bar exam! So first and foremost, Congrats on your journey and being willing to share the path you have taken to get to this awesome place you are at.
Gracie Garcia attended Trimble Tech from 2007 – 2010, while at Tech during her freshmen and sophomore years she was in choir and cosmetology. During her senior year, she was part of first dual credit group that took classes out at TCC which played an important part in her education.
I asked Ms. Garcia if she played any sports and I had to share her answer in her own words. “Briefly. I joined the soccer team but truth be told, I am the most uncoordinated person and I am not sure what I was even thinking when I joined. Once I figured out how terrible I was, I quit. Sometimes you just have to accept your weaknesses and move on. Ha!”
When asked about her time here at Tech her memories go back to Mr. Jim Goin, Photographer teacher at the time. He was incredibly encouraging, motivating, understanding and kind to all of his students. Friday mornings in Mr. Goin’s class because he would take us warm donuts and milk.
I asked Ms. Garcia, if she could give current students at Tech any advice what would it be and here is what she said: “This is one of the cheesiest lines EVER, but I’m living proof of how incredibly important it is : ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, EVEN WHEN NO ONE ELSE DOES!”
There’s part of this story that is best explains why she believes this and I think it is best left in her own words. It’s truly amazing what this young lady has done with so very little and her determination:
I’ve literally grown up with nothing. There was a time where my mom, 7 month old brother, and I slept in our car, which we would park at a Wal-Mart parking lot until someone reported us. After that happened, we ended up living in a women’s battered shelter. Once we were able to move out of the shelter and into our own home, we continued to struggle so much so that at times we did not even have enough money for food.
On top of my rough childhood, I was bullied all throughout middle and high school. I never shared what I was going through with anyone in school because I was afraid people would bully me even more if they knew how crappy my life was.
To make a long story short, my own family, as well as all those who took the time and effort to bully me in school, constantly put me down and expressed their opinions regarding my potential to achieve anything in life. I even remember some students telling me that I was wasting my time filling out applications for college because someone like me would never amount to anything important in life.
Well…by the grace of God, here I am! I refused to allow my upbringing to stand in the way of my future, and I most certainly refused to allow my classmates to define my potential in life. I was determined to make a name for myself and I knew that I could only do so if I believed in myself! Having this mindset helped me achieve some of the greatest accomplishments of my life, including graduating from high school at 16 years old, earning a full ride tuition scholarship to TCU, graduating from TCU at 20 years old, graduating from law school at 23 years old, and passing the Texas bar exam!
Sometimes it can be so easy to allow someone to shape/control your life. At the end of the day, however, if you really want something, it is up to you and only you to make it happen! You are the only person (besides God, of course) who can stand in your way to achieve your dreams. Never let anyone take your shine away!
As Ms. Garcia was very open about past I wanted her to share if she thought Tech prepared her for college life?
“Definitely! The work ethic and study skills instilled in me by the teachers at Tech helped me succeed throughout my undergraduate studies”.
I continued asking questions and Ms. Garcia was very forthcoming. What is the biggest adjustment from high school to college classes/life?
“I think the biggest adjustment is realizing attendance is not mandatory. Whether you pass or fail is totally up to you, which is very different from when you are in high school because your teachers play an active role in pushing you toward success.”
Had to do it over again, what do you wish you would have known?
“If I had to do it all over again, I wish I would have known that the road to success is NEVER easy. I think we all hear this saying time and time again but not everyone truly understands it. Getting to where I am today has not been easy. I have had a lot of doors shut and have heard a million “NO’s” before getting one “YES!” With that being said, nothing compares to the feeling of accomplishing something through your own hard work. I think that if I would have known and understood this as a high school student, I would have had a better approach to things that happened throughout my educational career.”
Things you did in Tech that helped you at TCU?
“Being a part of the dual credit program definitely helped me succeed at TCU. Not only did I start college with an insane amount of college credit hours, but I also started my college education with the necessary study skills/habits necessary to succeed.”
After hearing about her past and just how much Ms. Garcia has overcome I had to ask why she wanted to be a lawyer.
“I knew I wanted to be a lawyer since I was 7 years old, so it was definitely on my mind when I graduated. My parents divorced when I was 7 years old. To make a long story short, my mother could not afford to pay her lawyer as often or as much as he would have liked her to. Because of that, the lawyer ultimately withdrew from representing us. Before doing so, however, he reached an agreement with my father to where my mother would not receive spousal maintenance or any property out of the marriage and we would get the minimum child support possible. Realizing the effect the lawyer had on our lives after my parents divorced (and not to mention how incredibly cold hearted he was), I decided I would be a lawyer that would be a better person than him and would know right from wrong, even if it meant taking it a hit financially.”
When I ask it is exactly what is it that she does?
“WORK! Tons of work! I work a minimum of 60 hours a week. I am not required to work so many hours but when you love what you do, time just flies! Aside from the crazy work hours, I spend any free moment I get with my family and my dogs! I want to be able to make a positive difference in people’s lives. More importantly, I want to be able to take care of my mother and brother, which is only possible with a solid education and a secure job.”
In closing I asked Ms. Garcia, I asked if there as anything you would like to add?
“As you all work toward achieving your goals, never be afraid to reach out to people for help! One thing I have realized throughout the years is that there are SO MANY people out there who are willing and happy to help those who are trying to better themselves. You do not have to do this alone! Mentors can sometimes be the key to your success!”
Ms. Gracie Garcia, first of all I would truly like to thank you for sharing every bit of your story from very little to this amazing young lady you are. I would like to say CONGRATULATIONS on passing the Texas Bar Exam and finally Trimble Tech is very proud of you! Thank you being someone Trimble Tech student can look up to and say that if Ms. Garcia went through all of that just maybe there is a chance for me so THANK YOU!