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UHV sophomore wants to help children who have experienced tough times

Julia Garcia, a University of Houston-Victoria sophomore, grew up on the north side of Houston, but she didn’t have much desire to stay in the immediate area for college.

Julia Garcia

“I wanted to get out of Houston,” she said.

UHV offered small class sizes and tutoring sessions, which appeal to her.

“I like the small environment,” she said. “There’s more student/professor interaction than I would get at a larger university.”

Few members of Garcia’s family have attended college. Her parents never did, and her older sister attended for awhile before dropping out. Garcia wanted more for herself.

“I wanted to be better than my parents, better than everyone else,” she said. “One of the major reasons I chose to attend UHV in the first place was to set a better example for my younger sister. I wanted to show her that getting out of the drug-infested environment that we grew up in was possible.”

When Garcia first arrived at UHV, there were a couple challenges she had to face. Her friends went to community colleges in Houston, for starters.

“I didn’t know anybody here,” she said.

She attended school functions and landed a job in the provost’s office as an office assistant.

“It made me learn a lot about myself,” Garcia said of moving to Victoria and attending UHV. “It’s been an amazing experience.”

For her major, she chose criminal justice. She also is pursuing a minor in psychology. She hopes both will help her eventually become a social worker. The job appeals to her because she wants to be there for children who grew up in a situation similar to hers.

“I want to interview children who have been through tough times,” she said. “I want to help kids specifically and then build a case and present it to a district attorney.”

I am a Jaguar is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Jeremy Shapiro, UHV communications manager, or call 361-570-4296.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.