Veteran Builds Support Network to Achieve Academic Success

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Victor Garnica
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Summers in South Florida are traditionally filled with sunshine and barbeques on the beach. Growing up, however, my summers were usually confined in the depressing walls of summer school. I struggled during middle school and high school. Summer school was the only way for me to earn the required credits I’d failed during the regular year. But while I fell behind during the regular school year, I performed at the top of the class during summer school and stayed on track to graduate. That was just the beginning of my educational journey.

A world of experience

Upon graduation, I joined the United States Marines. It was a lifelong goal for which I had prepared meticulously. The Marines afforded me a world of experience and cultures. Most importantly the Marines instilled in me a sense of duty, the initiative to be the change I wish to see in the world, and the determination to get the job done no matter the challenges. After six years of service, the Marines were my family and the decision to leave was not easy. But I knew it was time to start a new chapter in my life and to rectify my less than stellar performance in the academic world.

Re-focused on academics

I now put the same dedication from service towards my academic career, working towards an Associate’s degree at Miami Dade College. A major contribution to my current academic success is the support network I encountered here. Inspirational professors encouraged me to join Phi Theta Kappa, which in turn exposed me to a multitude of employees at MDC that genuinely care about my success and endeavors. Through Phi Theta Kappa I applied for and was selected as a 2017 recipient of the Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education.

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