TAMIU Criminal Justice Graduate Heads to
Dominican Republic for Peace Corps Post
Consider the last person who inspired you. Now meet Joaquín García. The Texas A&M International University 2013 graduate, former migrant farmworker and recent world traveler will soon leave his hometown of Roma, Texas, and head to the Dominican Republic for a 27-month long commitment with the Peace Corps to help other young people have a successful future.
“I will be working with different communities as a community health extentionist. My duties focus on three main goals – helping youth make healthy decisions, improving nutrition, and reducing unwanted pregnancies. I will also be promoting peace by sharing our American values to the locals,” said García.
“But as I see it, I will be making a difference in the world,” García mused.
TAMIU 2013 criminal justice graduate Joaquin Garcia
No longer seen as the stereotypical group of hippies from long ago, more than 210,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in 139 host countries and work on issues ranging form AIDS education to information technology and environmental preservation.
“When I started at TAMIU, I was passionate about criminal justice and dreamed of becoming a state trooper, but now I want to work for an international organization to spread peace and help the less fortunate,” said García.
He explained that he became interested in working with helping people after spending Maymester studying abroad aboard a ship with more than 300 other students. This experience took him to the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize.
“As a result, I fell in love with traveling and exploring new lands. When the voyage was over, I knew I wanted traveling to be part of my future career and decided to apply to the Peace Corps,” he said.
Rather than switch his major from criminal justice, García decided to minor in political science and received certification in international politics.
“During study abroad, I realized I enjoyed working with people to innovate communities which lack basic amenities, such as running water and electricity,” García said.
“TAMIU made my college life a great success and opened the door for me to see the real world and experience what few people have experienced—having the world at your hands!” he added.
When Garcia began his studies at TAMIU, he was part of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP). He said from CAMP, he learned to value his education and take pride in what he does.
He set high expectations for himself.
“I was to get excellent grades, make my mother and my whole family proud of what I was doing and graduate,” he noted.
In addition to his own goals, García was also an active member of the Campus Activities Board, Association of International Students, College Assistance Migrant Program Organization of Students, and TAMIU Rotaract—organizations which stress community service.
“Words cannot describe how much I look forward to this new chapter in my life. My friends, well, they think I’m crazy sometimes, but I know they would do it if they had the opportunity,” he said.
To incoming TAMIU students, García recommends they study abroad and volunteer in as many events as possible.
“Volunteering lets you meet new people and the act of kindness alone is priceless.
“Studying abroad will help you see the world differently and help you meet other people that will change your life and even your future, like it happened to me. Some parents might hesitate to let their children travel by themselves, but it is a part of life and letting your children grow and become adults,” he said.
TAMIU 2013 criminal justice graduate Joaquin Garcia, seen here on a Study Abroad
experience in Belize, will travel to the Dominican Republic as part
of a 27-month commitment to the Peace Corps.
“Coming from a single-parent family was something I had to consider when I applied to the Peace Corps. I felt like I was going to abandon my mother for the next two years, but I know she wants the best for me and will be waiting for me when I return. She has always supported my decisions and has been extremely helpful throughout the whole Peace Corps application process, which was a lot! The rest of my family has been really supportive and have helped me a lot as well,” he added.
Great leaders inspire by having good attitude, exuding confidence, having a positive attitude and great instincts and committing to their work, even when it’s hard. TAMIU alumnus Joaquín García is on his way to becoming an exceptional leader.
“I want to thank TAMIU for all the opportunities it gave me and for always having professors and staff willing to help me when I decided to take on a new endeavor. I will always be proud of being a member of the TAMIU alumni and I hope to represent it well in my future journeys,” García said.
Peace Corps is an independent U.S. government agency that provides trained volunteers for countries requesting assistance around the world. The agency traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then-Sen. John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.
Although times have changed, the Peace Corps continues to promote peace and friendship by remaining true to its mission, established in 1961:
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men
- To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
For more information on the Peace Corps: peacecorps.gov
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