Rosa Garcia was born in Orange County, the middle child of six children to Mexican parents. Her family moved to Las Vegas from southern California during her teen years. She is the mother of five outstanding children, a full time student pursuing a degree in counseling, and serves as the Assistant Dean of Students at Equipo Academy.
Growing up Rosa was unsure of what the rest of her life would be like. “High school was a blur to me. I was quiet and antisocial. I had no goals and i didn’t even think I would graduate” Her family fell into the same pattern that often happens to families of color in low-income communities that have little to no support. There were no teachers giving her options or motivating her to succeed. Her siblings were no different in the lack of support from the school system and consequently her older brother dropped out while she was in high school. When this happened something clicked with Rosa and she decided she was going to do whatever it took to graduate from high school, and so she changed the trajectory of her family.
At 20 years old, Rosa welcomed her first of 5 children, my former student and current Honor Roll scholar. When Rosa welcomed her third child and her first born was about to start kindergarten she decided she wanted to pursue her bachelor’s degree. “At that time I realized I needed to do something better for myself and my family. That’s when this long and hard journey began.” She started at a community college and the role of being a student was not an easy transition for her. She struggled and even took a long break when she welcomed the rest of her five children. Since then she returned back to school and is excited to say she will graduate this summer.
Rosa is going to be receiving her degree in Human Services because she wanted to set an example for her five children. She plans to stay in school past her bachelor’s degree to pursue her master’s in Counseling to fulfill her dream of being a counselor. “I plan on continuing with my master’s in counseling because I feel it is a need in our community, and I’ve always had a strong connection to teens and now know that’s my calling.” She chose to serve as the Assistant to the Dean of Students to surround herself with the target population. She is helping to bring a restorative justice approach to the school where we eliminate the zero tolerance policy and replace it with conversations, projects, and counseling for the students. Rosa helps the adults in the building get to the root of the problem, rather than using the band-aid solutions that our school system has adopted, the same solutions that perpetuated a cycle of oppression for her family growing up.
Her children would describe Rosa as understanding, hard-working, strict, and very loving. They will also say that their mother reminds them to work hard in school everyday because going to college and pursuing higher education is a must and not an option. “My hope is for them to graduate from college and accomplish their goals. I want my children to be the best version of themselves all while making a difference in this world. I want them to be recognized for their success, but more important, for their kindness.” Rosa sets the best example for her children about pursuing her goals while being a kind and amazing version of herself. The students at Equipo Academy describe Rosa as a mother figure who is approachable, dedicated, and supportive of all students. The staff would agree that Rosa exceeds all expectations for her role and goes above and beyond for her students and colleagues. There are many people who work alongside Rosa and wonder if she magically finds more hours in her day to find the time and energy to mother five children who are all doing well academically, go to school full time to set a good example for her children, and work the many hours that people in education put in to make the changes they want to see in the world. She defies the expectations of her role as the Co-Dean to the Dean of Students and proves to being a luchadora who can do it all.
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