Name: Nancy Garcia
Office sought: Joliet Junior College Board trustee
Town where you currently reside: Romeoville
Occupation (employer): Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project, a nonprofit organization
Education: Graduated from Joliet Junior College in 2013, graduated from Aurora University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in psychology
Facebook: Nancy Garcia for JJC Trustee, @vote4nancygarcia
Why are you running for the elected office you're seeking?
As a first-generation college student, I know how difficult it is to navigate the college application process. I came to the United States with my family when I was 9 years old from Michoacan, Mexico. When I was in my junior year of high school, I was faced, like many students, with the very difficult task of thinking about my plans after high school.
Eventually, I decided to attend Joliet Junior College to start my higher education career. During my time at JJC, I participated as a peer mentor and the historian for Latinos Unidos. My participation in the program and club allowed me to learn about the importance of time management and how essential it is for first-generation college students to be able to relate to their peers in order to succeed. I am running to be part of the Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees to continue to make JJC an affordable college for all students by keeping tuition and fees affordable.
It is time that the Joliet Junior College Board reflects the diversity of the student body.
What skills, qualities or experience do you have that separate you from your opponents?
I have been involved in my community over the past 11 years from volunteering at my local food pantry to advocating for immigrant rights. Immediately after college, I began my career in the immigrant rights world and fell in love with my community through nonpartisan voter registration drives and citizenship workshops. In this work, I have learned how helpful, despite everything, my community is.
I know that I can make a difference, and I am willing to listen to the needs of my community. If elected, I will work together with other members of the board to do what is best for the students and taxpayers.
What are the greatest challenges JJC is facing in the coming years?
Two of the greatest challenges that JJC is facing is how to keep a balanced budget and continue to invest in technology.
In the last two years, the cost of tuition and fees have increased to a total of $146 per credit hour. We need to think of solutions to increase the number of students at JJC by focusing on enrolling students currently seeking GEDs once they obtain their GEDs. This will be a crucial step to keep the tuition and fees affordable for students.
In order to keep up with our fast-paced world, we need to continue to invest in technology to provide students the resources for them to succeed in their fields.
If elected, what will be your top three priorities?
1) Keep Joliet Junior College an affordable institution for all students, especially first-generation college students, minorities and disabled students.
2) Keep a balanced budget.
3) Equip Joliet Junior College with the latest technology for the educational programs.