Frank Garcia, the College of Engineering valedictorian, grew up in Huntington Park with a natural interest in engineering.
“I had two brothers who went into engineering (one at Cal Poly Pomona). My dad, an electrician, has a way of being able to fix anything, and I wanted to be a person that could fix things and solve problems,” he says.
Now, Garcia will get the chance to solve real-world problems and make an impact at Northrop Grumman in July, where he will begin his career as an assistant test engineer.
He credits the Maximizing Engineering Potential program at Cal Poly Pomona as a difference-maker, first when he benefited as a student and then when he served as a tutor.
“It helps you get a job out of college in addition to getting good grades. The program has its own learning community,” he says. “I always did well in school, and tutoring seemed like a good way to use my time and knowledge to help others. It made me feel good about myself.”
Garcia, who will graduate with a 3.97 GPA, hopes to keep helping bring others up.
“I would like to stay in the technical field with things I am building that can help people reach their best potential” he explains.
“Frank is the kind of person we need in the engineering profession — a talented individual who helped other people,” says Cordelia Ontiveros, interim dean of the College of Engineering. “We hope he will go on to serve his profession and the world by solving problems that will help people and society.”