ROMA, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A talent spewing Rio Grande Valley native performed on multiple national platforms, spreading his love for the Hispanic culture as a mariachi performer. However, he has now found a new passion for advocacy.

Francisco Garcia, a senior at Roma High school, boldly took the stage competing in “La Voz Kids” when he was in the 6th grade, continuing by making appearances on “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento.”

Garcia went on to play a role in Roma High’s Varsity Mariachi. He was scouted to perform with the Fort Worth Opera, played on the Kelly Clarkson Show, and perform in the Latino Inauguration of President Joe Biden. 

Although his passion for music and his culture was strong, during the pandemic he became aware of social issues and wanted to use his voice in a new light.

Returning to school, Garcia played a stronger role in school organizations.

I was always a good performing student, but I made it a mission to became really involved, taking on leadership roles with Student Council, Business Professionals of America, National Honors Society, and the Feminist Club… I am also the founder and president of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. I started the alliance because I wanted to leave something behind for other students like me, and those who want to be allies – that’s part of my legacy here.

Francisco Garcia

Never considering a profession outside performing, Garcia dedicated himself to his academics and found himself matched with Columbia University with a full-ride scholarship.

As soon as I started really opening my eyes I saw that anything is possible. I started applying and submitting college scholarship applications during the fall. In December I was matched with Columbia University!

Francisco Garcia

With a dream to “represent the heart of [his] music heritage,” Garcia plans to keep an open mind for the future. However, his passion now is to “be an activist for minority groups, whether it is being a Hispanic or being queer.”

Garcia hopes to inspire more Rio Grande Valley students to pursue their passions, as nothing is impossible.

By the end of my time here in Roma, my mission was to be known as a student who stood up for themselves. I wanted to be known as someone who embraced their difference by making it beautiful, making it art. I want to make it known that being different is not something to be ashamed of, it’s to be celebrated and embraced… All of us are capable; you just need to keep the faith and keep believing that we are all beautiful with a purpose.

Francisco Garcia