Senior sacrifices health for greater opportunity

SaSchel Moore, Reporter

She looked into the binder, brimming with 50 college acceptance letters, and thought of what she had to sacrifice to get them. After all of the work she had put in, all she had to worry about was whether she would be able to reap the benefits.
Senior Esperanza Garcia applied to 50 colleges despite having to stay in the hospital for over nine days throughout the school year. Garcia was accepted into all 50 of the colleges, including Pennsylvania State and the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD).
On a regular schedule, Garcia likes to stay busy at school as well as outside of school. While also having a job, Garcia is a member of Beta Club, HOSA and AVID.
“I apply to at least 50 scholarships a week, and I am a sales associate at Big Lots,” Garcia said. “My regular schedule consists of me waking up, exercising, hitting the showers, showing up to school at 6:45, working on scholarships or homework in the library and then going to class. After school I go to work. I might hit the gym if it’s not too late. I work on homework when I get home, and then I go to sleep for about three to four hours.”
Despite her crammed schedule, Garcia was determined to succeed, no matter the cost, physically or mentally.
“I stayed in the hospital for a week and two days this year,” Garcia said. “I had a little bit of everything wrong: the flu, pneumonia and a respiratory infection. Sometimes being that sick would put me in a bad place, but when I recovered, I would put two times the effort into scholarships and applications.”
Garcia’s illness occurs whenever the weather is cold; therefore, she has no control over when it flares up. This year, her doctors came to her with a solution: sinus reconstruction surgery.
“I want to wait until I’m 21 to get the surgery,” Garcia said. “The doctors said there was a risk of respiratory failure. [This was due to] my immune system being so low, because I hadn’t been eating right for a long time. The doctors said they saw an abnormal growth in the back of my sinuses, so right now I’m taking medicine to remove it.”
Garcia plans to attend UTD for a bachelor’s degree in criminology. After UTD, she plans to apply to Yale for law school. Her long term goal is to become an FBI agent. Garcia believes that some of her motivation comes from her upbringing. Her parents divorced when Garcia was younger.
“Their divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Garcia said. “It took away from a lot of the bad influence in my life. I’m really blessed.”