In the race for a seat on the Glendale Community College board of trustees, Victor Garcia Jr. is one of three candidates vying for a District 4 seat.
The district encompasses the portion of the city south of Colorado Street, and if Garcia wins a seat on the board, the significance of representing south Glendale will carry “immense weight,” he said.
“For me, it means being able to give south Glendale the hope of a better future,” Garcia said. “I’ll get to give my community the voice that it’s needed for a very long time.”
Garcia decided to run, in part, because of his belief in education enabling people to advance.
As a student currently wrapping up his senior year at UC Santa Barbara, to where he's commuting from Glendale, he's seen some students take longer to graduate after transferring there from a community college.
Among the issues he sees facing Glendale Community College is a need for a trustee to advocate for students who may be homeless, in foster care or in the juvenile justice system.
He would also tackle what he perceives as an "crisis-of-image" issue so that Glendale residents and K-12 students view the college with "enthusiasm," he said.
When he decided to run for a District 4 seat, he said he thought: "It wouldn't be right for me to not do this … I felt I could do the most to serve my community through the community college board."
Garcia, who grew up in Glendale and is a Hoover High graduate, also thinks the relationship between the college and the Glendale Unified School District could be bolstered with more career-technical education pathways that students could take while in high school and later in college.
He envisions the college as a resource for young and old, a tool to advance careers or engage in lifelong learning.
Garcia said he also thinks no matter who is elected to the District 4 seat, the candidate will need to consistently communicate a strong voice for south Glendale.
"When it comes to District 4, we need some love. We need attention. We need a vision. Are we going to be an extension of L.A.? Are we just going to be a traffic sore? Whoever wins this seat has a huge role in bringing that perspective in every single matter. Everything affects the student's ability to succeed in the classroom."