I first met David Garcia as an eighth-grade student at Eagle Valley Middle School during the 2009/2010 school year as his science teacher. I knew at the time that David exuded leadership, service, a desire to learn, and more than anything David had strong family values. Many years passed us by, and in 2018 I had the honor and privilege of reconnecting with him in a professional setting. I was not one bit shocked to see David making a deep impact on the Eagle County community. More impressively, he does not believe he is doing anything beyond just being a good person. His passion is to help others and make a difference in this community, which comes naturally to David.
David learned the art of service at a young age, when his mom would volunteer at his school. She enrolled him in the SOS Outreach where David was able to grow within the organization, and follow in his mom’s footsteps by giving back to the community. Both of his parents knew the importance of education, and thanks to their constant support he graduated with a Bachelors of Exercise Science from Colorado Mesa University. With the help of Ronald Davis who ran the Guardian’s Scholarship, David was able to go to university debt free and make a lot of great connections.
David currently serves as the Mentor Coordinator and Youth Center Manager at My Future Pathways (MFP), which is a Latino-led organization that helps local youth discover their passions and turn them into a career path. At MFP, it is understood that the Latino community (especially the boys) struggle to meet certain academic requirements, therefore they give them the resources to help them succeed. This includes academic support, health and wellness classes, and intellectual conversations to expose them to higher education. The kids that participate in MFP are David’s main source of motivation. Seeing them succeed, no matter how big or small, will always bring David immense joy and happiness.
Many of the youth in our community need support and David is there for them. Most young people simply need a platform to speak their mind. According to David, a lot of these kids struggle in silence because they either 1) don’t have a friend or mentor to talk to, 2) don’t know what to do, 3) are too shy to speak, or 4) are any combination of the above. They need a support system that will help them find their voice and validate their feelings.
For the many young people who are out there who have no idea what they want to do with their lives, David shares, “Don’t give up, keep searching. I remember being ‘stuck’ in certain chapters of my life. Looking back now, I realize that every struggle and success has led me to where I am today. Don’t give up- keep going!” David embodies perseverance, and currently has a sharp focus to work with various community partners to build an all-in-one youth center in Eagle County. His vision is to provide a safe and fun environment that is filled with an opportunity for everyone, no matter how big or small.
David’s biggest motivator is Bratzo Horruitiner, the Executive Director of MFP. Working with Bratzo has definitely helped him grow professionally. There is no struggle, hurdle, or situation that does not have an answer. Bratzo’s style of managing and leading is creative and adaptive, and that has definitely influenced David’s style of working in this community as well. To any teenager reading this, here is David’s advice, “Please don’t give up on your dreams. I know the peak of your goals and ambitions looks far away, but the journey is what will make you into the person you need to be in order to get that goal. My biggest value at the moment is adaptability, so learn how to adapt to the ever-changing world around you, and seize the opportunity!”.