Destiny Garcia’s Path from Foster Care to Doctoral Candidate

“Profiles in Foster Courage” is a series of audio and TV interviews dedicated to extraordinary individuals whose early life was spent in foster care, and to those who experienced first-hand the trauma and determination of those individuals whose early years were fraught with neglect.

Destiny Garcia is a remarkable young woman from Woodland, California. Far beyond her talent and success, what charmed me was her smile that seems to signal that if you smile, the world will be fine.

She is a doctoral candidate at University of California-Davis in the Department of Engineering and Aerospace, graduating in a few months with a Doctorate in Aerospace.

That is impressive for any student. Then I learn that she spent several years in foster care, coming from an environment marked by drugs, prison terms and irresponsible adults.

Garcia plans to become a university professor to share her expertise and passion for learning.

“How did you do it?” I ask. Destiny has a strikingly simple answer to my question: “I knew that if I did well in school and kept out of jail, I would be successful.”

Lin Weaver is a media journalist and a radio and TV producer. She is a Trustee of the UC Davis Foundation and a member of the College of Biological Sciences Advisory Council. She lives in Davis, California.

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