E.G. Garcia graduated this past Saturday with the class of 2012 and is one of Marin Academy’s newest alumni. While at MA, he epitomized the scholar-athlete-artist and was recognized this January as a Heart of Marin Youth Volunteer of the Year by the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership.
I started a project called Eco Baby three years ago through Next Generation Scholars. Basically, I collect clothes from donations and lost and founds. I put it all together, organize it, and take it to the Canal Welcome Center. With Douglas Mundo, the Center’s Executive Director, I set up tables and then have people come in and pick out clothes for their families. It’s good because it’s also a time when people can get free food.
In the beginning, it was items for babies specifically, but then I started getting donations for older adults. It really started because of my personal experiences with the lack of availability of necessities. The moment that really stands out is a time when we rode in the car without car seats—we didn’t have them because they were too expensive. Because I had twin sisters, everything was double, which made it hard. So we rode without car seats at times. Even then, I knew we weren’t the only ones in this kind of situation. So that was where it stemmed from.
I think that the norm for everybody should be to help people. That it shouldn’t be extraordinary for somebody to do a project like this. So that’s what I think about—that I’m doing something that’s normal and helping people.
2. Between Eco Baby and your sports (cross country, basketball, and track) you still find time to make great art. How do you find time to do it all? And I hope you get eight hours of sleep!
(Laughs) It’s a struggle sometimes, but it’s something I need to do. It’s that balance that makes me want to do it more. Next year I am going to Skidmore College where I want to study exercise science. I’ve always been interested in sports, which has lead to my interest in the body and how it works. Last year, anatomy was my favorite class. But I also want to continue art somehow—hopefully minor in it or something like that.
3. What are the two or three most important things you are going to take away from your time at MA?
That’s a hard question. There are a lot of things. I think the main thing is to remember that we come from a community with lots of talent, and at times you may seem insignificant in the greater community, but to always remember that we are all individuals here and that you can find your own place. For me it was in sports and art. And those are just different aspects that you may find or may not find here. And later on there’s plenty of time, so just remember to just stay humble and remember where you come from.
4. If you imagine yourself coming back at your tenth reunion—which will be 2022—what do you hope most stays the same?
Well, my favorite thing was definitely the closeness of the teachers. Just the fact that I could call them by their first name—this has made our connections even closer. In grade school and junior high, I never had that close connection. I also appreciate how they help me outside of school—not only with my studies, but with my personal problems, too. Anything. I hope that really stays the same because that’s what I think is so special about MA: that closeness between students and teachers. That relationship.
5. If you were talking to new students on the first day of school, what advice would you give them?
I would say forget about being judged. Do what you want. Don’t be afraid to go out for theater. To do art. To do a sport. Because if you miss an opportunity, you might never know if you would have followed it in the future. So do what you want to do.