This blog post was written by Jasmine Garcia, former We’ve Got Your Back student.
Hello! My name is Jasmine Garcia, a former member of the We’ve Got Your Back program. In 2007, my older brother and I joined We’ve Got Your Back and my family continued to receive help until 2013. When I was in the third grade, I remember getting a backpack at the end of every week filled with food, snacks, and health worksheets for my siblings and I to enjoy. At the time, my father was in the gardening business and had trouble finding work. As a result, my family struggled to make ends meet every month. His occupation only made enough to cover the bills, so we didn’t have extra money to buy shoes, clothes, or school supplies. For these reasons, we depended on organizations like Giving Children Hope to provide us with food and household items.
Jasmine in the 3rd grade
Neither of my parents had an opportunity to graduate from high school, so when they came to the United States, they went right into the workforce. At a very young age I realized that the income my father made wasn’t enough to pay for my college tuition, so my siblings and I knew that if we wanted to go to college, we would have to work for it.
For me, attending college meant the start of a path towards a better future for myself, my family, and my community. When my father was seventeen years old, he came to the United States in search of a better future, only to realize that his lack of a diploma would eventually cause him to miss out on many job opportunities. By deciding to further my education, I am giving my generation and the generations to come an opportunity to achieve success. To me, success is not limited by upward social mobility or financial prosperity, but also includes one’s ability to inspire, grow, and help others break the chains that weigh their own families down.
The help that Giving Children Hope provided my family allowed us to get back on our feet. As a result, I was able to focus on my school work and get involved in extracurricular activities, instead of worrying about getting a job or going right into the workforce after graduating to help my family.
During my four years of high school, I was involved in the St. Philip Benizi Youth Leadership team. Our purpose was to influence the lives of individuals within our community in a positive way. We would also create service projects throughout the year that included clothing drives, food drives, and beach clean ups.
By senior year, I was proud to be among the top 10 students in my class with the highest GPA. I graduated with a 4.6 GPA and was accepted to several schools including University of California Irvine, USC, San Diego State University, and Chapman University. Thanks to the scholarships I received, I am now attending California State University, Fullerton as a President’s Scholar and a part of the Business Honors program. President Scholars receive a full scholarship and other benefits such as financial assistance, mentorships and internship opportunities. We also practice giving back within the university and community. Every month, we volunteer to help at different organizations and events that provide support to others. For example, I got to volunteer at Giving Children Hope and help distribute food to families that are in the same situation I once was.
Jasmine and some of her fellow President’s Scholars volunteering at Giving Children Hope. (She is 3rd from the right)
Someday I would like to to intern or work for organizations that focus on giving back to others and making a positive impact in society. I would love to continue to help others by motivating youth to reach for academic excellence. I hope that one day I can help create scholarships for individuals that faced similar circumstances so I can help them reach their goals. It’s organizations just like Giving Children Hope that inspire me to influence others by making a positive impact in their lives.