Leadership Spotlight: Anthony Garcia
For this spotlight, we want to recognize Anthony Garcia. Anthony is from Phoenix, Arizona and comes from a good home where he lives with his father, mother and older brother. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Anthony graduated from Genesis Academy last spring. This was a testament to the commitment he has to excellence and finishing what he started despite the challenges. If you were to meet Anthony, you would notice how easy going and laid back he is. He has incredible commitment and consistency—he is always where he needs to be, when he needs to be there, with no complaints—ever!
When we first met Anthony in November 2018, he was a junior and one of the top students in his school. He was amongst a small cohort of six students who were rigorously assessed and selected to be a part of the first Valley Guardians Executive Leadership Program (which is now entering its third year). Genesis Academy called these students, Trailblazers, because they were setting a trend for younger aspiring students to follow in their footsteps. Anthony’s parents have expressed to us how proud they were of him and how much the program has helped him.
“Anthony and we knew he had the ability and dedication to successfully graduate high school and surpass challenges he would face. Anthony needed a little extra spark, and we thank LSA, for bringing that spark out of him and guiding him to the right path.” – Anthony’s Parents
Anthony has been in the Valley Guardians Leadership Program for two and a half years. Over the course of this time, he set many goals with high aspirations for himself. As he approached graduation, he wanted to develop himself so that he would be more prepared for life after high school. He set three key goals that put him on a positive trajectory:
- Become more of a contributor to his family instead of a just a consumer. He felt that his parents worked hard and by learning to take care of himself more and be more self-reliant, this would help everyone out.
- Develop greater social skills. He recognized that one of the dominant characteristics all successful people have is the ability to talk with others. Anthony is a man of few words, but he knew that learning how to better communicate with others would help him have better relationships and more supporters to help him along his journey.
- Grow closer to his parents. He began to realize that he is like his parents and the more he gets to know them, the more he will understand himself and the easier life will be.
Anthony worked as hard as he could on his goals. Post-graduation, he started to see the fruits of his labors come to fruition:
- He successfully applied and was hired at Marshalls part time. Within a year he was promoted to Customer Experience Coordinator (3rd from top position in management) and started working full-time.
- He was accepted into college. He is the first generation in his family to attend college. For the longest time he thought he wanted to be a nurse, but as he continued to develop himself and figure out who is he and what he wants, he landed on dentistry. His goal is to become a dental hygienist.
- He worked on being more social by stretching himself quite a bit. He would set goals to start conversations with those closest to him and practiced smiling at everyone he made eye contact with. As he did this with those who he was most comfortable with, it started to transfer to environments where people were complete strangers. He could tell that he was becoming more comfortable with people and able to converse with them more. This helped him blossom a lot at work.
- He did activities that brought him closer to his parents. He would cook for his family and have his mom mentor him. He started to open up more about life with his dad. He and his dad share a wonderful relationship where Anthony feels much more confident about himself and future.
Because of Anthony’s hard work and commitment to his goals, he has learned how to better manage his time and how to maintain balance in his life. This gave him more time to enjoy hobbies like basketball, spending time with his brother, and making new friends. He has been very appreciative of the program.
“Teenage years are difficult. There’s not many guidance other than school and parents. I’m thankful LSA was there directing and helping me in making the right choices for me.” – Anthony Garcia
We are proud of Anthony and know that the development and success he has already seen in his life will continue into the future.