Growing up in Thorndale, Texas, Caitlin Garcia ’22 enjoyed being part of a small community. Her grandmother and great-grandfather lived nearby, and her high school graduating class had 60 students. Still, she wanted an expanded college experience, but her family didn’t have the financial resources for an out-of-state institution or a private college. Instead, Garcia moved to the bigger world of Texas A&M.
“The population of Thorndale is 2% of my college graduating class,” she said. “College Station and my experience at Texas A&M is another world compared to how I grew up.”
Her early college experience differed from most Aggies. Enticed by the possibility of earning college scholarships, Garcia competed in and won Miss Teen of Texas while in high school. That qualified her for the Miss Teen of America competition—which she also won. Because of the latter, she spent a portion of her freshman year at Texas A&M traveling to make guest appearances and give presentations.
Still, the communications major, who also minored in philosophy, quickly found her place in Aggieland. “After four years at Texas A&M, I realize that while the college campus community is big, your world gets small the longer you stay at Texas A&M because of the people you know. It’s a powerful network,” she said. “I quickly fell in love with the people at Texas A&M through Fish Camp and other Memorial Student Center programs.”
Garcia credits Chi Omega Sorority for giving her “the greatest friends and treasured memories.” She also served as a sophomore delegate to the MSC Abbott Family Leadership Conference, which helped her contemplate ethics, morals and values related to leadership, service and family. As a junior, Garcia stepped into the director of development role, where she helped coordinate the Houston Abbott Family Leadership Conference.
She’s also exceptionally proud to have been selected as a Texas A&M Foundation Maroon Coat, a role she’s served in for several years, including as the group’s president. As an ambassador to both former and current students, her role has allowed her to gain a deep appreciation for those who have a heart for service.
Moving forward, Garcia is considering law school but will start her career as a consultant with Deloitte. Ultimately, she wants to move into work that will allow her to focus on her passion: education. “Growing up, I didn’t understand the variety of options that a college education could offer,” said Garcia, who is among the first generation in her family to attend college. “I had no idea what the term ‘political science’ meant or where a business degree could lead you. I want to change that for future high school and middle school students from small, low-income public-school systems.”