Photo by: Dexter Phuong
Hello! Hola! I’m Benito Garcia Garcia – a first generation Latinx college graduate. I’m a native Spanish speaker and a son of immigrants. Growing up, my parents instilled in me the importance of education because in their country, education is a privilege and not a right. Throughout my short life, I’ve always been ambitious, willing to take challenges, and always accepting the opportunities given to me.
I grew up in Franklin, North Carolina – a small town located in the Appalachian Mountains. I attended Macon Early College and partner institution, Southwestern Community College, where I received my high school diploma and Associate in Arts degree simultaneously.
I graduated from Western Carolina University in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication (with a concentration in journalism and a minor in Spanish). I made the Dean’s list numerous times, finishing with a 3.5 GPA and with “cum laude” honors.
At Western Carolina, I was an editor of campus news and a reporter for the Western Carolina Journalist – an online news publication of the communication department. I was also a staff writer for the Western Carolinian – Western Carolina’s print newspaper. During my time as a student reporter, I covered an array of topics including the impeachment of President Trump, the impeachment of the student body president, local protests, the COVID-19 pandemic, and much more. I gained valuable insights and understandings into the journalism world. I also learned the importance of having integrity and being truthful in my reporting – regardless of possible backlash.
I was a passionate student that cared about their campus. In high school, I was on the student council and the yearbook staff. In college I was heavily involved on campus as a student leader. I served on the Student Government Association as a senator and as the co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Committee. I also served on the executive board of the Latinx Appreciation Student Organization (LASO). Also having served on the student committee of LASO’s Southeastern Latinx Student Leadership Conference (SL-SLC). I advocated for gender-inclusive restrooms on campus, more accessibility and affordability of menstrual hygiene products, the representation of minority students and much more.
In July 2020, I joined Vecinos, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the wellness of the farmworker population in Western North Carolina (WNC). I served as a COVID Community Health Worker ensuring members of the Latinx community of WNC were receiving adequate education and resources during the pandemic. We conducted in-person outreach into the community and organized events to educate, hand out PPE (masks, hand sanitizer, etc.), provide free COVID-19 testing and fre, accessible COVID-19 vaccinations. In April 2021, I transitioned into a new position as Marketing Assistant which encompassed managing social media accounts, the website, writing weekly blog articles, sending out a monthly e-Newsletter, and more! In December 2021, I transitioned once again to the Communications & Logistics Coordinator which focused primarily on communications strategies for the health programs.
As of March 2022, I joined Pisgah Legal Services as a Bilingual Legal Assistant for the Immigration team known as the Justice for All Program, as well as serving as a support role for the Domestic Violence Program.
I continue to work as a journalist, joining the Franklin Press (Macon County’s print newspaper) as a part-time photographer in February 2022.
Walking gets too boring when you learn how to fly …
Dime quien camina, cuando se puede volar …Shakira