This year's theme, 'Be Worth Your Salt' is an opportunity to profile those who rise to the occasion and serve in our community. We asked the school community to nominate someone who is living this year's theme and Juan Lucas Alvarez ‘89 nominated his classmate alumnus Carlos Francisco Garcia ‘89. The following is an excerpt from the letter Juan sent regarding Carlos.
Carlos is passionate about three things. His love for Jesus Christ, his love for his wife Debbie and their five children, and his love for community service (and in a close fourth, his New Orleans Saints). Carlos is a leader. He is a leader by every interpretation of the word and in every aspect of his life. He never sits in the shadows. He always raises his hand, volunteers, and steps up to face the challenge.
Carlos doesn't join an organization(s) simply for participation or resume-building purposes. When he joins an organization it is not long before you'll see him running to be the Chair or on the Board of Directors of the organization. When Carlos saw a need for scholarship funds to assist our community's youth to reach their dreams of higher education, he founded the Garcia Perseverance Scholarship Fund. When he felt our community lacked sufficient resources to educate our children about eating disorders, he founded Stand-Up and Eliminate Eating Disorders. Carlos has also served on the board of organizations such as the Coral Gables Community Foundation and the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana. I can continue with several other charitable organizations and events that have benefitted from countless hours of volunteer service Carlos has performed over many years to assist their cause(s).
In December 2017, Carlos was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. He has been fighting this horrible disease with radiation, surgery, experimental medications, and a strict nutritional diet. In short, he has and continues to battle cancer with everything he can. It would be an understatement to say it has been a difficult fight. But Carlos has never been someone to sulk and would be insulted by anyone's pity. Instead, Carlos sees his sickness as another opportunity to do what he always does ... to lead. To lead us, his friends and family, to reflect on our own lives and our most important relationship, our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Following his diagnosis, Carlos started group chats where he shares motivational prayers for everyone. He then began organizing weekly prayer groups, or 'prayer gettys' (as he would call them), and as usual, where Carlos led, we followed. Often there were not enough parking spaces or seats to accommodate the large number of people that would attend the gettys. Carlos starts every chat, video or prayer group by saying "Today is a Great Day!"
Carlos is certainly cognizant of the fact that we gather to show our support and love for him and his family during this difficult time. But somehow he always makes the prayer groups about us, as much as they are about him. He teaches us to appreciate the many blessings we have in our lives, to not take them for granted and to help others. To focus on our own relationship with Jesus Christ with the hope we become closer to Him.
Carlos created this simple prayer that many of us find ourselves repeating in our heads almost daily. "Lord, give me the Strength to continue moving forward, the Positivity to never look back, and the Love to share with everyone." Carlos is a special man. In a paradox, he always runs to the fire thinking it will lead him to safety ... that it will lead him closer to Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Juan, for your nomination. If you would like to nominate a student, teacher, staff member, parent, or alum please email email@example.com. The following questions must be answered in the email.
Name of the person you are nominating. If it's a student please indicate the grade and if it's an alumnus include his graduation year.
Why are you nominating this person?
Contact information for the person you are nominating. Include a relevant picture if possible.
Once the nomination is received it will be reviewed by members of the administration. Feature articles will be posted on the school website and be shared in the Wolverine Beat and on the school's social media pages.