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  • Claudia Artola

Lesly Garcia - Future Leaders of Muscatine

Updated: May 5

This piece is the beginning of our Future Leaders of Muscatine series, where we will highlight young Muscatine leaders that show resilience, passion, drive, compassion and stand out in their everyday actions. This series will allow us to congratulate student’s perseverance against struggles and celebrate young people that bring positivity to our community.

Lesly Garcia (she/her/hers) is a senior at Muscatine High School and will be not only the first one in her family to attend college but will also be the first one to graduate high school. After moving around her 5th summer to Muscatine, Lesly and her family joined the Muscatine community and to this day, consider this their home.

Lesly wants to become a nurse when she is older and is looking forward to enrolling at Muscatine Community College to continue furthering her education. She has already started exploring her field by being part of dual enrollment, a program that gives the possibility to high schoolers to take college classes while building college credits.

She wants to be a nurse because of her caring nature; she shares that she has always liked to take care of others and build connections with people while making sure everyone is doing okay. She wants to work with pregnant women or children in the future. Like for many first-generation students, the college process and financial burdens can be very overwhelming and it is something worth celebrating.

Though, Lesly’s dedication to success comes from a long way of challenges and efforts, not only hers but also her mother’s. Lesly’s mother grew up in Mexico and sadly had to drop out of school during 6th grade due to financial difficulties that didn’t allow her to get transportation. Like many immigrant stories, her mom immigrated here for a better life.

A day after school for Lesly is to arrive home and help her mom with as much as she can, while her mother goes out to work to support her family. Her family consists of her, her two brothers, and her mom. Lesly dedicates her energy not only to maintaining straight A’s in school but also to taking care of her family.

She describes her strengths as good with friendships, dedicated to her education and creativity. She is always expressing herself in any creative way she can. However, as any person, she believes there is always room for growth. Lesly wants to work on her public speaking skills - she defines herself as “soft-spoken” and shy. She also wants to improve her work ethic and start organizing and prioritizing better.

An achievement that Lesly is very proud of is being a straight-A student, regardless of the struggles that come her way navigating the school system mostly by herself since her family is also learning as she goes. But high school has provided more than learning experiences.

“I'll always remember the friends and the relationships that I've formed with teachers,” Lesly shares.

Lesly has learned and grown so much since her first day stepping foot in Muscatine High School and there is so much that she could tell her freshman self. However, she wanted to share the advice she would give her younger self.

“High school is a little hard but it's worth it because you make a lot of connections with other people that will help you push through,” Lesly said. This advice can also resonate with some incoming freshmen that are uncertain about their new experience.

Lesly has a bright future ahead of her and has shown perseverance, drive, and passion for what she does and cares about. We hope to see her flourish as the future leader that she has inside herself.

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