September 2021 Peer Advisor of the Month: Raymond Garcia, California State University, Fullerton

photo of Raymond Garcia

From Alex Ortega, Access and Engagement Coordinator at CSUF’s Veterans Resource Center: “Raymond Garcia has continuously gone above and beyond for the PAVE team at CSUF. Since becoming a Peer Advisor, Mr. Garcia has coordinated two recreational therapy events. These events include ‘Paddle with PAVE’, a paddle boarding event that brings student veterans together to build camaraderie and promote physical fitness. Mr. Garcia coordinated, planned, and marketed to the CSUF VRC on his own with no oversight from our staff. Mr. Garcia has also reached out to his caseload of 11 peers and started building rapport by identifying their preferred method of contact and availability to meet in person, and also shared his schedule of when he will be on campus. Mr. Garcia is also taking point on planning our first ever ‘PAVE it Forward’, a volunteering opportunity that brings student veterans together to volunteer and give back to our community. Mr. Garcia is the heartbeat of our PAVE program on campus. He comes to work everyday with a ‘can do’ spirit, he is motivated, upbeat, positive, and most important, one of the most empathetic and caring student veterans I have ever worked with. Mr. Garcia personally requested to work for our CSUF PAVE program because of his desire to ‘give back to his fellow veterans’. Mr. Raymond Garcia is a breath of fresh air, and embodies all aspects of the PAVE Program.”

From Raymond Garcia: “As a Peer Advisor, I believe that I can impact the student veterans that I work with more than the average student on campus. I feel that I try to engage with my peers as much as possible and really try and see if there is anything I could possibly do to assist in their pathway through higher education. I also feel that all the Peer Advisors’ presence creates a community that is lacking for a lot of the student veterans, especially after getting out of an organization that is built around being part of a brotherhood or sisterhood. My absolute favorite part of being a Peer Advisor is having the ability to build a community and knowing that what we do has an impact, even if it’s for just one person. Knowing that I can help at any capacity is just so rewarding!”