A younger man with brown hair and a large beard wearing a gray blazer stands with one hand in his pocket and the other pointing at his chest, talking into a wireless microphone while two men and two woman standing behind him in front of a white projector screen.

#TFA25: Amazing Teacher Gives Back to the Community That Raised Him

Julio Garcia (Rio Grande Valley '13) shares how his middle and high school Teach For America teachers influenced him to not only attend college but eventually return to his hometown to teach, too.
Thursday, February 11, 2016

"Twelve years ago I walked into this arena with my American History class," Julio Garcia declared, his booming voice permeating a packed Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., last Saturday. "I was still trying to figure out what I wanted in life. Tonight, I walked in here with this..."

Julio, who was a featured speaker at the main event of Teach For America's 25th Anniversary Summit, shared how his middle and high school TFA teachers—who stood right behind him on the stage—influenced him to not only attend The Ohio State University, but eventually return to his hometown to become a teacher himself. He's now a second-generation TFA corps member (Rio Grande Valley '13) teaching middle school history at Ramiro Barrera Middle School in Roma, Texas.

"I remember when I was in middle school sitting at my desk in my history class, looking up at a teacher who told us he cared about us, and us just laughing at him," he recalled. "I realized that he wasn't crazy. He really did care about us. Now I can't wait for the day that my students realize that, too."

Watch his inspiring speech that rocked the house below.


Check out all the content from the 25th Anniversary Summit on our event page.


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