“Enlisting in the U.S. Navy was an easy decision for me after high school because I knew I wanted to create a strong career foundation for myself. I was an aviation support equipment technician. My job included fixing mechanical issues and electrical problems for 1,149 pieces of gear.
Assigned to USS Ronald Reagan, I had the opportunity to travel not only within the U.S. but also internationally. A few key places included Florida, Washington, California, South Korea and Japan.
While in the service, I not only sharpened my leadership skills, but I learned how to adapt to challenging situations quickly and how to effectively manage stress. I also realized my love and dedication to serve others was truly my passion.
I am a first-generation student and chose to attend the U because it is close to my family in Rock Springs, Wyo. In my heart, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in medicine and attend medical school and my experiences solidified that decision.
I volunteered at The Road Home shelter and then with Connect2Health, a student-led program that helps underserved people find community resources. I’m currently a research assistant at the Moran Eye Center working in Bryan Jones’ lab, where we are trying to understand how retinal circuitry changes in diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. For my capstone project, I taught a virtual Resistance Training for Health class for senior citizens to help with their overall physical and mental health.
My time here at the U has been truly an amazing experience and I’ll use the skills that I have learned here in my next journey as I attend medical school in the fall. The U has millions of useful resources and the Veterans Support Center is one of them!”
—Jessica Garcia, Class of 2021, B.S. in Kinesiology, Student Veteran of the Year