“When I first came to SMC, they told me to get into Elementary Algebra. But I like challenge, so I went into Intermediate. And I still got an A.”
His plan is to become an architect and build “the next generation of great buildings.” But when those plans on the computer finally get realized in steel and concrete, there’s one person that Heynner Garcia will be sad not to have at the ‘topping out’ ceremonies. “Everyone has challenges to overcome in life. But I guess my greatest one was when my dad died when I was 7, back in Guatemala. I was lost and didn’t know what I wanted to do. My academics really suffered. I mean, my daddy had worked really hard to keep me in school, even though he himself only had a 6th-grade education,” says Heynner.
But Heynner’s dad would be bursting with pride to see what his son is making of himself at SMC. “What I really want most to do here is to get into the Scholars Program, which I’ve heard nothing but good things about. Initially, my English wasn’t good enough to qualify. But I’ve worked hard on it, and now I’ve taken an Honors course, so I plan to reapply.”
Heynner misses his family and the culture in Guatemala, but he’s determined to make the most of his American experience. “I plan to transfer to either Cal State San Luis Obispo or UCLA, to become an architect. I’ve always loved drawing and designing, and I can spend hours on the computer creating structures, and then improving them. I’m relatively good with physics and math and logic. So now it’s just a matter of hard study and discipline to make those dreams of mine part of the real world.”