Maria Guadalupe Garcia, Del Rio native, has now become one of Laredo's most familiar faces. People can click on her image on the internet, or find her smiling face greeting them from their Southwestern Bell Telephone Book cover.
Garcia, wearing the folk costumes she uses as a member of the Texas A&M International University Ballet Folklorico, has been pictured in a number of University publications and on the University's web site. Most recently, her image was utilized on the cover of the 2001-2002 Southwest Bell Telephone Book.
"It's quite an honor," said the A&M International senior accounting major, "I'm happy to represent the University and now the community of Laredo, which has become like a second home to me."
Even without the popularity of her likeness on the University's or community's publications, Garcia is well-known on campus for her involvement in student life and student government.
The Del Rio High School Class of '99 graduate is a member of the Ballet Folklorico and Chorale, crunches numbers with the Accounting Society, has founded a community service club and was recently elected president of the Student Government Association (SGA).
Garcia also serves on The Texas A&M University System's Chancellor's Student Advisory Board (CSAB), contributing to policy discussions on students concerns.
Mary Trevino, associate vice president of student affairs, said that Maria has been one of the most impressive student leaders the University has had the pleasure of sharing an undergraduate experience with.
"She's truly grown into quite a young leader. She's a dynamic force on our campus and in our community and I predict that she will go far in her chosen career and truly make a difference in the community that is fortunate to number her among its residents," Trevino said.
Garcia says her time at the University has been most pleasant and calls it the best learning experience of her young life.
"At A&M International I have found a place full of opportunities, where you can climb as high as your dreams... it is the best thing that has happened to me. Our slogan here at the University is "Nothing so close takes you so far," and I believe it, because it has proven true for me. I believe that there is a place at this University for anyone and everyone that desires a quality education," she observed.
She encourages all students to consider continuing their higher education and said she gets a special thrill when Del Rio students visit the campus for frequent tours.
"I tell them 'I used to be one of you'...now I want you to be one of us," she smiles.
Upon graduation, Garcia said she plans to continue her education and hopes to eventually teach.
"I want to obtain a Ph.D. in International Business. I would like to get experience in the business world and later on teach and share these experiences with younger generations," she said.
Garcia is the daughter of Jesus and Maria Ines Garcia of Del Rio.
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