I have to admit, growing up I never thought I would go to college because I thought that college was for the rich and not for the low-income families. I remember as a child my father was the only one that could provide an income  for the family therefore, we didn’t have much or should I say; we only had what we needed to survive. Over all, my parents had it the worst because they were the ones who struggled so that me and my sisters can have a better life here in the United States. Fortunately, I happen to be the only child to graduate from a community college and now Lord willing graduating this summer of 2012 at Cal State Fullerton. So therefore, to some extends I can relate to Dr. Mildred Garcia because she is a living testimony that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It is obvious I am nowhere near the person she has become but I feel for her and I’m honor to have Dr. Mildred Garcia as our first Latina President at Cal State University of Fullerton.

Dr. Mildred Garcia, president at CSU Dominguez Hills, is moving on to the top job at Cal State University of Fullerton this June 2012. She has led Dominguez Hills since 2007, when she became the first-ever Latina president in the history of the CSU system.

Garcia grew up poor in Brooklyn New York, the second youngest of seven children by Puerto Rican immigrants who worked in factories.”My dad died when I was 12,” she said. “My mother raised us on a factory salary. She’s my hero.” Fortunately, Garcia wound up being the only of her siblings to finish a four-year college degree and went on to obtain a doctorate in higher education from Columbia University.

Who would’ve thought she was going to be the next president and the first Latina at Cal State Fullerton? I guarantee that not many because when we think of a president we think of some one who is high-class, white-collar and perhaps some one who is very political and good with words. As we can see, anyone who sets their mind on something they truly believe in they can achieve it. 🙂

My pastor once said and I quote, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” When I first heard that I didn’t understand because I thought he was talking about the physical and not the spirituality. For some reason many people believe that this quote only applies to relationships; however, I came to realize that no matter what circumstances we go through it only makes us stronger. For example, in Mildred Garcia’s case many people including her college professor did not believe that she could ever achieve her goals and she did. Not only that she has accomplished many things through her academics she is now the first Latina President of Cal State University of Fullerton.

I truly believe that Dr. Mildred Garcia deserves the position and salary that has been granted because of her motives and achievements. Some may not agree but this my opinion! On the hand, many Latinos including myself is looking forward for our up and coming new president of Cal State Fullerton.


About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

7 responses »

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