When senior, Linda Maria Garcia, was asked to describe herself in one word, the first term that came to mind was selfless. Linda has demonstrated what it means puts the needs and cares of others before her own. At an early age, Linda was taught what it meant to give back and help others because of her mother who exemplified, encouraged, and inspired her to be involved in helping and giving back to her community, especially during her years at Saint Joseph Academy.
Throughout her journey here at SJA, Linda has engaged in numerous clubs including the Rotary Interact Club, the Bloodhound Ambassadors, and the Civic Engagement Club where she serves as Founder and Co-President. This school year, as co-president of the civic engagement club, Linda and her group mates contributed to a voter awareness event at the Brownsville Public Library to encourage and register all those who were eligible to vote during the city, state, and national elections. All clubs at St. Joe offer various opportunities to engage with the SJA community, the community of Brownsville and its sister city of Matamoros. Linda has been a part of many organizations that encompass service components, including the Keep Brownsville Beautiful (K.B.B.) organization and the Brownsville Team Court – Teen Court. Linda serves as an Executive Board Member of the K.B.B. organization which is sponsored by the City of Brownsville. Linda has completed more than 427 community service hours throughout her three years as a member of the organization by volunteering at all city hosted events.
As a member of the Brownsville Team Court – Teen Court organization, Linda has been able to experience the judicial court process by working along side other team members and attorneys to provide a diversionary method of sentencing such as community service, to decrease repeated criminal actions in juvenile misdemeanor offense. In addition to the teen court, the Brownsville Team Court provided Linda the opportunity to work with Congressman, Filemon Vela ’81, at an immigrational camp in Tamaulipas, Mexico to experience the living conditions of those at the camps to prompt a plan for change. The Brownsville Team Court and Teen Court organizations have truly identified and concluded what Linda is determined to study and pursue after St. Joe, which is to become a lawyer and hopefully the next Congresswoman for the 34th District of Texas to be able to continue to fight for reform and legislation for the benefit of her hometown, Brownsville, and the Rio Grande Valley.
Linda has been accepted into several universities including Baylor University, Texas A&M University, The University of Texas at Austin, and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She is still waiting to hear from one of her dream schools, Georgetown University in Washington D.C., a top 23 National University. “Should I be accepted into Georgetown, it would be a dream come true and I know that I would be one step closer to becoming a lawyer. There is no other place better to attend college at than a University on Capitol Hill where I’ll be able to jump start my career by potentially working in the White House as an intern or in the Capitol through part-time job opportunities related to my field of study,” says Linda Garcia. “Mr. Hickson, SJA History Teacher, has watched me grow since the 10th grade up to today. He has been a huge asset in my involvement in the Civic Engagement Club by continuously motivating me, encouraging me, and pushing me to be the best possible student and individual in preparation to my dream career as a lawyer.”
“St. Joe really pushed me academically with its rigorous curriculum and provided valuable life experiences and traits which allowed me to be of service both inside and out of school that I will cherish and take with me in my future endeavors. Being able to attend St. Joe has been a blessing because the teachers and counselors have taught and shaped me on how to be a well-rounded, Marist individual. At Saint Joseph Academy, they genuinely care about you as a person and want you to succeed. They push you to reach your dream no matter how little or how big it may be,” says Linda.
Outside of St. Joe, Linda has started a small business that is fully operated through Instagram called Blush the Boutique, a handcrafted and designed affordable jewelry store. Linda has been able to combine both of her passions for reform and legislation and her small business by creating seasonal fundraisers where she is able to give back 10% of her business profits to the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF). UNICEF helps save and protect the world’s most vulnerable children around the world. This past winter, Blush the Boutique donated 10% of their proceeds to help the children in Yemen, one of the world’s most struggling faced national economic crisis, malnutrition, and life-threatening diseases. “Since starting my business, I have been able to learn the business management and administrative aspect of having your own business. I’ve also been able to develop better time management and organization skills that I believe will be beneficial to me in my professional career.” Linda plans to continue operating her business throughout her undergraduate and post-graduate studies with the help and support from both her parents. “My parents have been very motivating and encouraging throughout my time at St. Joe, starting my business and preparing me for my undergraduate studies. Without their support, I would not have been able to achieve what I have thus far, nonetheless pursue my dreams,” says Linda.