Mayra Garcia, 18
Cross Keys High School, senior
Mayra Garcia’s life hasn’t been easy. Her father died when she was 4, and when she was 9, she moved to Atlanta from Oaxaca, Mexico.
“That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever encountered in my life,” Mayra said. “I had to deal with the language barrier, and communication is essential to live in this country.”
But Mayra, the daughter of Reyna Ramos, has overcome many of the obstacles. She shared some of her experiences in her winning essay in the Laws of Life contest, sponsored by the Brookhaven Rotary Club.
“I wrote about how we had to move on (after reaching Atlanta) and not necessarily forget everything but try harder because that makes a good leader,” Mayra said.
Throughout high school, Mayra stayed true to being a leader. During her senior year, she served as class president, president of the French Club, treasurer of the Interact Club and historian of the National Honor Society. She also was a member of the Cross Keys swim team.
Mayra graduated as an honor student May 22, and as senior class president, she spoke at the graduation ceremony.
“Writing the speech was hard, and at the end, you realize all you can do is put your heart and soul on paper and say what you really feel,” she said.
Outside school, Mayra has worked as a photographer at Aleskat Studio Foto Video Film the past three years and will continue there during the summer. She also sings in the choir at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Brookhaven.
Mayra has been accepted to Agnes Scott and Southern Catholic colleges but is uncertain whether she’ll have the money to attend either. In the meantime, she will begin as an intern at State Farm Insurance in July.
She said she hopes to pursue a business-related career. “I think I can talk to people and have great communication skills.”