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You are here: Home Resources E-Newsletter Archive Winter 2008, Issue II Get to know our newest board member, Maria Garcia!

Get to know our newest board member, Maria Garcia!

Maria Garcia has joined our board and is interested in broadening Journeys into the greater community to reach underserved youth and adults.

How did you get involved with Journeys?

I got involved through my partner whose daughter was enrolled in a Journeys' program, the Coming of Age for Girls, but could not attend.  My daughter went in her place.  My partner found out about Journeys through a teacher.   As I read more about Journeys I was amazed and inspired by the purpose of Journeys and it was perfect timing for my daughter.

Why did you become a board member?

I was so excited about my daughters Coming of Age for Girls journey and the change the occurred within her; how she relates to others, her courage, confidence, self esteem. Her outlook on life and her relationship with me through the shared experience was very significant and powerful.  When she came back she said, “Mom, now I really believe I can do what I put my mind to.”

I became so motivated after my daughter's experience with Journeys that I let people know about the program.  I want to tell everyone how powerful Journeys' programs are. I feel that the values of my Latino heritage are reflected in Journeys such as the family values, collective decision making, incorporation of community, giving back to the community, and a sense of belonging. 

I began to ask Journeys staff for information to distribute to the communities I work with. I see a need for youth to have this experience of a rite of passage from youth to adulthood. Through my active engagement with Journeys I was honored to be asked to join the board.


What do you hope to bring to Journeys?

I hope to bring motivation to get the word out, bring in more youth to go through programs, community recognition and support.

My experience as a migrant worker fostered in me an appreciation for nature in a whole different way; an appreciation for hard work and respect for nature. I want to give the opportunity of experiencing Journeys programs to youth of color that would not normally have access to this program due to financial barriers. I want to make sure communities of color are aware of Journeys' programs and the positive things it does. Through Journeys' curriculum there is a deeper look at self, how the self relates to the world, and an importance of mentorship. I see Journeys' programs as tools for gang prevention, drug prevention and a source of valuable knowledge of self and the world.


What other interests do you have?

I am a social worker, advocate and community organizer. I work for DSHS as a Child Protective Services social worker. I want to bridge the gap between our services and the school districts. I want youth to have a great education and be supported in doing that through working with the parents, schools and youth.

I am an active volunteer. I am a lifelong single mother of two daughters and I have a partner with one daughter.  My daughters are active in the community and involved in a leadership program that focuses on sharing culture in the community. I have been invited to be apart of the Ombudsman Committee with the Office of Education. This committee allows families to have a voice in the school system.


Anything else you would like to share about the Journeys community?

I feel supported personally and professionally by the staff and board members of Journeys and feel excited to connect more with nature. Journeys is my life long commitment and I hope to make it a part of my family tradition.


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