Defying the Odds

DHS graduate Angela Garcia shares her journey to gain admission into her dream schools as a first generation college student.


Courtesy of Angela Garcia

DHS graduate Angela Garcia said she plans to continue her academic journey at Yale University in the Fall of 2020. Angela had the option of attending four other Ivy League schools.

It is well-known that highschool seniors hope to be accepted into the top colleges of their choice when applying. Prestigious ivy-leagues are highly competitive to get into as the student accepted stand out and are high performing.

Dearborn High School 2020 graduate, Angela Garcia, was accepted into Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Brown, and Cornell Universities. Angela is now a first generation college student whose parents are immigrants from San Ignacio, Mexico. 

Angela said that she wasn’t expecting to be accepted to multiple ivy league schools. “First off it was crazy getting into these colleges. I had received a likely letter from Columbia and Cornell right before decisions so I was just hoping to get into those,” Angela said. 

Angela and her little brother, Pablo Garcia, opened all her decisions together and they were thrilled seeing all the acceptances she had. “We clicked play on Columbia and a video of the campus played and it said ‘welcome to Columbia 2024’ at the end and we were like oh that’s a cute video. It took us a second to realize that I had actually got in,” Angela said. “Then we opened five other acceptances and we were going crazy. I expected all rejections and was hoping for just ONE acceptance so it was crazy getting no rejections.”

Martina Garcia, Angela’s mom, said that she is so proud of her kid’s accomplishments. “My biggest accomplishment is having raised motivated, hard working kids. I can’t wait to get a shirt that says Harvard/ Yale mom since her older brother goes to Harvard,” Martina said.

I expected all rejections and was hoping for just one acceptance.”

— Angela Garcia

Miguel Garcia, Angela’s dad, said that he faced multiple hardships in his life. “We weren’t able to get an education in Mexico so a lot of doors were closed for us because we didn’t have the education. I did the best with what I had, but I always wanted my kids to have the chance to take the opportunities we didn’t have,” Miguel said. 

Miguel Garcia said that the most important thing to him is for his kids to be educated. “That is why we came to America. We didn’t want our kids to live in poverty and without proper education. All the important jobs that create a big impact require education. Education is powerful,” Miguel said.

Martina Garcia said that she is one of the very few immigrant moms that have kids that made it this far with their accomplishments. “I’m one of the only immigrant moms that can say she has a Harvard son and Yale daughter and that feels amazing. I’m extremely proud and grateful for these blessings,” Martina said.  

Angela said that she has decided to attend Yale University as she feels like it is her best option. “Yale just felt like a better fit. Yale offered the best financial aid and I liked the idea of going to my brother’s rival school,” Angela said.

Angela is potentially planning on majoring in psychology and doing pre-med to pursue clinical psychology.