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Thomas Ray Garcia

Thomas Ray Garcia

Bio: Thomas is a writer, scholar, educator, and entrepreneur from Pharr, Texas. He graduated from PSJA North High School in 2012 as class valedictorian.

Thomas attended Princeton University where he co-founded the Princeton Hidden Minority Council, an award-winning organization servicing first-generation and low-income students, and wrote student blogs for the Office of Undergraduate Admission. A Gates Millennium Scholar, Teach For America Rising Leaders Fellow, and Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, Thomas has combined his experiences in academic research with hands-on pedagogy.

He majored in English with interests in creative writing, literary criticism, and post-secondary education studies.

Thomas founded CSLAP in 2013 and returned to Pharr every summer to host institutes for high school seniors. From 2016-2017, he created and taught the University Scholars Enrichment Course, an extension of CSLAP, at PSJA ISD. With over 5 years of teaching experience at the high school and college levels, Thomas has incorporated CSLAP as a 501(c)3 nonprofit to teach college access lessons at RGV high schools and connect students to near-peer mentors.

He is currently pursuing an English PhD at UCLA, writing short stories and poems on the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and serving as CSLAP's executive director.

Mentoring interests: College admissions, college admissions essays, Apply Texas, Common Application, national scholarships, ACT test prep, college transition, professional development