Alumni in Action: Jason Garcia

Alumni In Action: Jason Garcia

Jason Garcia wanted the best life for his family. Through a passion for math and science and the guidance of dedicated professors at CCA, he built a successful career as a software engineer. Then his kids followed in his footsteps.

Video by: CCA Dept. of Strategic Communications

Article with Audio Player

Listen to this article:

Jason Garcia gets goosebumps when he looks back on the opportunities that the Community College of Aurora provided him and his family, after emigrating to the United States from Guatemala 30 years ago. His award as a NASA Scholar, for example, fills him with awe, and stands as a testament to just how far a community college education brought him. 

“I was able to participate in building payloads for sounding rockets. This is something I had never even dreamed in my wildest dreams to actually accomplish, but CCA not only sent me once, they sent me twice,” Garcia said.

His love for math and science were not only instrumental to earning scholarships, but were also pivotal for his eventual career as a software engineer. He calls himself a “chameleon” who was able to adapt to changing technologies in his field. “They throw me in different ways to develop, so I just pick up whatever I need.”

In his native country, Garcia was unable to pursue a college education. So it only made sense after moving to Aurora, with CCA in close proximity to where he lived, that he started taking classes. With young children at home, he and his wife decided it was their best shot at better opportunities. 

With a multitude of degrees to choose on, he opted for an Associate of General Studies, with a focus in computer programming. After completing his degree at CCA, he moved onto Metro State, where he studied computer science. “Starting as a student at CCA was very frightening to me because it was a completely different experience to actually get to go to school here in the United States.” 

Luckily, he says, he found a supportive network of teachers who encouraged him to pursue his goals, and to believe in himself. With their expertise in their fields, and that extra push, he says those teachers were pivotal in his success in his career.


Even in those times when it seemed like an impossible obstacle, he persevered and carved out a space where he could thrive. 

“You’re going to have times where you’re going to find it’s hard. It’s very stressful, it’s very difficult, but you have to try to actually get through it. Once you pass that moment, you’re going to realize that you can do a lot more. And that struggle was just a little bump that you were just able to overpass. And then you’re going to be able to do even greater things.”

After all his hard work, he was able to accomplish his biggest goal: being an example to his kids for what is possible when you set your mind to something. Beyond having a successful career, his motivation was to inspire his kids to pursue their own dreams. “If I didn’t do it, how was I going to be able to demand that from them? I was going to set an example. And it is not like it is effortless, it requires a lot of sacrifice.” 

His kids took note. Following in his exact footsteps, his son also graduated from CCA with an Associate in Science with a focus on programming, before moving onto Metro State to continue his degree. “I am the very first person to graduate from college in my immediate family. So, my son is already a second-generation graduate. Everything seems to be moving towards the idea that once you set an example, the path is just a continuation of what you start. So, that’s what we need to set for our next generations.”

Even outside of his own family, he hopes to inspire other CCA students to use what they learn in college to make a better life for themselves. “Being a CCA alumni actually means to me that I have the responsibility not only to develop myself with the tools that I was given at CCA, but also to represent a school that actually gave me those principles and that knowledge.” Get started on your own educational journey today. Click HERE to enroll in CCA, and discover your own passion.