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Marquette University Alumni Association

College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management Recipients

Young Alumnus of the Year Award

Jorge GarciaJORGE M. GARCÍA, BUS AD '08

When he was applying to universities, Jorge — like many other first-generation college students — felt overwhelmed. Through his work today at Instituto del Progreso Latino, he’s helping other students navigate the same process that daunted him years ago.

Jorge works with first-generation, college-bound youth and their families on the southwest side of Chicago to address their concerns, help find a “right-fit” university and identify bridge programs to help them transition to college.

“An alum who graduated in 2012 visited me on a particularly difficult day and shared that he had been awarded a scholarship that would help him continue his studies at a four-year university,” Jorge recalls. “Given his undocumented status, he didn’t qualify for federal or state aid and was relying on scholarships and working to pay for school. His message was validation from the universe letting me know that I was where I was needed. It’s stories like his and many others that keep me at Instituto.”

Jorge is applying to master’s degree programs at a variety of universities, ultimately hoping to continue serving first-generation college students in a college admissions office. His experience at Marquette had an incredibly positive impact on him. “Had it not been for great supporters like my CommUNITY family and mentors like Jocelyn Sideco and Eva Martinez-Powells, I don’t think graduation would have been a reality,” he says.

Last year, Jorge completed the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, his first.


Hometown: Chicago

Favorite Marquette memory: “My freshman year CommUNITY retreat. We were gone for the weekend in a cabin somewhere in Wisconsin. This was an opportunity for us to come together as a cohort and challenge one another to let our guards down and start addressing social justice issues.”

Most influential person: “My mother. I’ve been blessed to have such a strong and loving person as the pillar of my family. She has willingly sacrificed so much for my siblings and me without asking for anything in return. Her selflessness humbles me and makes me want to be a better person.”