Monument Impact and Diablo Valley Federal Credit Union is pleased to introduce the 2017 recipients of the George Garcia Educational Award Fund.
Who was George M. Garcia (1941-2016)
George was one of eight children born to his parents in the small southern California community of Trona. He always loved this little desert company town and often said he had the best childhood ever growing up there. He left after graduation for Los Angeles, worked for National Cash Register, started college, was drafted into the Army, became a medic, and was sent to Vietnam.
After being discharged, he made his way up the coast looking for employment and was hired by the City of Walnut Creek. He worked for the City until he retired as the Traffic Supervisor, at the age of 60. Along with working for the City, he received his Associates Degree, his electrical contractor’s license, built two cabins at Serene Lakes near Donner Summit, extensively remodeled the home he lived in, traveled on a mission trip to Africa to help build a birthing center, participated in a mission trip to Honduras, and had many more traveling adventures to various other countries.
George was a board member of Diablo Valley Federal Credit Union for over 40 years. He embodied the credit union axiom of “people helping people”. Perhaps channeling his own upbringing, George especially advocated for helping young people get ahead. George paid for soccer team uniforms and provided his own funds to help students attend private high schools.
George is survived by his three children, eight grandchildren, and his life partner Carole. George was extremely proud to be a Vietnam Veteran and his final resting place is the VA National Cemetery in Dixon.
In his memory, $500 educational scholarships we’re awarded to the following:
Ana Gabriela Orozco – Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Science
Ana Gabriela is a senior at College Park High School in Pleasant Hill. She has been accepted into University of California Davis where she plans on earning her BA in Biological Sciences. As she says, “I hope to become an optometrist…and plan on providing optimal care to low income families and possibly volunteering in a Developing country where access to optometrists is limited.”
Ana Gabriela is a member of Key Club, which focuses on community service. She also volunteers with the Food Bank and works as a health promoter, teaching children about healthy eating. Currently working at Chipotle, Ana Gabriela began working as a freshman to help her family financially. As she prepares to go to UC Davis, Ana Gabriela is grateful for the support of $500 through the George Garcia Educational Award Program. “I believe I am a great candidate for this scholarship,” she reflected in her application. “because similarly to George Garcia, I work hard for my goals and enjoy helping the community.”
German Quishpe Sacancela – Associate’s Degree in Electrical/Electronic Technology
Originally from Ecuador, 46-year old German Quishpe he has been an active member of Monument Impact’s Day Labor Program for three years. German and his wife have two daughters, ages four and one. He supports his family working as a day laborer, but German’s income can vary greatly, depending on hours and days worked.
Known for his determination, one can often find German on the computer at Monument Impact when he isn’t working a day job. “I am looking at other ways in which I can succeed and give my family a brighter future,” said German. Towards this end, he has already successfully completed his first year at Diablo Valley College. His goal of obtaining an Associate Degree in Electrical/Electronic Technology keeps him going. Although attending school has been an economic hardship, the George Garcia Educational Award of $500 will help German move closer to the future he envisions for his family.
Enrique Villanueva – Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering
A senior at College Park High School, Enrique Villanueva has always been interested in science and math. “I intend to pursue a career in environmental engineering,” Enrique wrote in his essay. “I am a firm believer that one of the greatest problems humanity faces is climate change…l will try with all my efforts to bring about change in a positive way, to help the environment, the common people, and the future generations that will live on this planet.”
Enrique plans on attending Diablo Valley College for two years where he will complete his general education classes. His award of $500 will help with expenses. Enrique hopes to transfer to a University of California campus, preferably Berkeley, Los Angeles or San Diego. As he stated, “I want my life to carry meaning into someone else’s, I want to make a difference in my world, in my community. In this, I think I would be staying true to George Garcia’s goals and values.”