The Waxahachie Global High School valedictorian will leave a legacy of dedication and selflessness.

Joshua Garcia’s counselor, Christie Noonkester, reflected on his high school career and acknowledged that all the hard work, sacrifices, sleepless nights, and struggles have paid off. She then encouraged Garcia to “never stop living your dream.”

Garcia worked nearly full time while a high school student to help support his family and regularly volunteered at Waxahachie CARE, a local food pantry.

“He is number one in his senior class, earned his associate’s degree before graduating from high school, and is going to an Ivy League school in the fall, all driven by little ol’ him,” Noonkester said. “I have the utmost love and respect for this kid.”

Garcia will attend Brown University in the fall to study biochemistry.

In February, during CTE Month, Garcia was interviewed for his volunteerism for his community service class. He admitted the work was mandatory, but he chose a nonprofit that he was passionate about.

As he restocked the shelves at Waxahachie CARE, he said, “This is my way of giving back to the help we [my family] used to get [here], so that’s why I picked this place. I feel like it’s more meaningful than helping a teacher grade papers.”

Waxahachie CARE Director of Operations Wade Holman saw the hard work Garcia put in nearly all school year. Holman said Garcia would do anything that was asked of him, which included, mostly stocking the shelves of the food pantry, but he also cleaned the floors and helped unload the truck.

“He was a good kid — a great kid,” Holman emphasized. “He had a good attitude and was very respectful. He is a guy that is just so smart, incredibly smart. One thing that he seemed to do very well was multitasking.”

Holman said if Garcia could not make his regular time to volunteer due to work, homework, or a test, he would always find a way to make time and help out, whether it was in the morning or afternoon.

“He was very responsible and always made sure he got his hours in,” Holman noted.