UW-Green Bay’s Monica Garcia: controlling her destiny with activism and gratitude

“Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.”— Gertrude Stein

For Monica Garcia, finding her “fit” in college meant discovering her passions. Thriving as a Phoenix meant finding her flock. Now a junior at UW-Green Bay, she’s not only pursuing a dual major in Psychology and Democracy and Justice Studies but is also actively recognizing and giving thanks. Garcia reflects on this evolving journey, stating, “I’ve encountered so many remarkable people who have made an indelible impact on my life, and I am very grateful.”

Now she’s paying that gratitude forward—embracing the role of a campus ambassador, charged with creating a welcoming and inclusive environment at UW-Green Bay. Turns out she’s pretty good at it. Her goal is simple—”to create an environment on campus where students are able to feel like they’re at home.”

Growing up in Sheboygan, she began her college career at the UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus. While transferring to the Green Bay campus was just an hour north, the transition was still daunting. She wanted to thrive in a welcoming environment for students of all different backgrounds and walks of life, for “…people who look like me,” she recalls. “UW-Green Bay was very big on diversity and inclusivity.” That attention has also significantly influenced both her current roles on campus and vision for the future. Garcia is the secretary for the First Gen Phoenix student organization and a peer mentor for the New Scholars Rising program.

When it comes to helping out, it’s one Phoenix at a time. “I work a lot with first-year students, they’re kind of freaking out, like what am I supposed to do? Who do I reach out to for this?” She directs students to the resources that have helped her along the way, like the Student Services Center and the Multicultural Resource Center (formerly MESA,) which provides support and advocacy for underrepresented students. She also recognizes that it’s not just offices that make the real difference, but the people. The personal attention that she received was crucial to her success.

Garcia’s involvement in these roles has not only defined her time at UW-Green Bay but has created a foundation for her future ambitions. Her commitment to making a difference won’t stop once she crosses the commencement stage. Garcia is determined to be a voice for others, aiming to engage in public speaking, activism, and research. Given her work with multicultural and first-generation students she plans to earn her PhD in Social Psychology and assist with EDI programs and initiatives. One day she hopes use the skills gained from that and work with Latino based nonprofit organizations. “I definitely want to be a voice for other people… I’ve always wanted too.”

UW-Green Bay gives students like Monica the power to Rise – hear how she has found her people at UW-Green Bay, below.

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