The 2017-18 Stan State recipient of the 2017-2018 William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement has achieved more than most, starting with his rise from homeless to hopeful.
“My journey to Stanislaus State is a dream come true, a future I did not see coming five years ago,” Antonio Garcia said, reflecting back to his two-year stay at the Stockton Homeless Shelter. There, however, he found the encouragement he needed to change his stars.
“It was the best decision of my life, and I have to thank everyone that encouraged me to push forward: my family, the Stockton Shelter staff and residents, and my professors and peers. Without them, this journey would have been a greater struggle,” he said.
Today, he is a Stan State senior with a 3.92 cumulative GPA, finishing a degree in general biology with a concentration in education and a minor in chemistry. He conducts research at the Stanislaus State Herbarium and is also involved in tracking riparian brush rabbits for the Endangered Species Recovery Project. He works as a tutor and supplementary instructor for biology, botany, chemistry and human anatomy. Clean-up day for the Trans California Pathway counted Garcia among its volunteers, and the Franklin High Science Olympiad team benefited from his coaching this past spring.
His future includes a summer internship with the Endangered Species Recovery Program, with a career in teaching science to follow.
Receiving the CSU Trustee’s Award was a welcome surprise, he said. “I was elated and honored to be one of the recipients. I also had the pleasure of meeting the other award recipients from other CSUs from all over the state in Long Beach and hearing their very inspiring experiences.”
Garcia is in his second year at Stan State after transferring from San Joaquin Delta College.
“Antonio has hit the ground running at Stanislaus State, and we are excited to see him grow in his academic career,” wrote University President Ellen Junn in nominating Garcia for the award. “He has demonstrated a level of academic and personal achievement that exemplifies the CSU tradition of academic and personal excellence.”
The Trustees’ Award is a scholarship of at least $6,000 given each year to one student from each CSU campus who demonstrates superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. It is awarded by a committee comprised of members from the CSU Board of Trustees, Academic Senate, Alumni Council and California State Student Association.