Making Family History: Angela Garcia Aims Toward the Major Leagues
Education and baseball have always been the most important things for her. She’s also the first in her family to attend college.
When Saint Mary’s was established in 1863, its founder had first-generation students in mind. Joseph Alemany, San Francisco’s first archbishop, envisioned a college for the “children of Miners, Mechanics, and Agriculturists,” the working people of the fledgling state.
Today, according to the most recent data, around one in three Saint Mary’s students are trailblazers, the first in their family to pursue a college degree. For many first-generation students—“First-Gens,” as they often refer to themselves—the journey to and through college brings unique struggles—and surprises. We asked First-Gen Gaels to share, in their own words, their history, hopes, and advice for the next generation.
This is the first in the Making Family History series. Today, we’re highlighting undergraduate Angela Garcia, an Exercise Science major who will be graduating in May 2023.
A little about me:
Since I was little, I kind of knew that education was important. Oddly enough, though, I didn’t know college was a thing. I just knew education was important. And especially my grandparents, they immigrated here, and they definitely did not have an education. They just stressed how important it was to be educated in this world and how far it will take me. How it will open doors that they never had.
Where I’m headed:
I would love to work in athletic training in the Major Leagues. I played softball growing up, and I grew up around baseball. So I just love being immersed in the sports world. I love being on the field whether or not I am playing. And as weird as it sounds, injuries fascinate me, so to be on a field, see a player get hurt and be like, “I can help you, that's an easy fix.” I would love to get to do that one day.
What’s helped me:
The High Potential Program has helped me so much. I remember my first year, I really did not think I could do it. I was struggling a lot. But my peer mentor helped me so much! I really would not be here about to graduate if I did not have this program—I just appreciate this program so much.
My advice for high schoolers:
I remember being a high school senior and stressing so much about college, the money, the process of just applying. I was so intimidated, so scared of everything. I didn’t think I was gonna go to college. I didn’t think my parents could afford any college. I was always very scared that it wouldn’t happen. So, just trust the process. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. Just do what you can, and the rest will follow.
LEARN MORE about Saint Mary’s High Potential Program, which supports and sustains First-Gen students like Angela Garcia.
Want to support students like Daniela? Consider giving to the SMC Scholarship Initiative.
Hayden Royster is a staff writer with the Office of Marketing and Communications. Jacqueline Garcia directs social media with the Office of Marketing and Communications and is a first-gen graduate herself. Write them.