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From shy student to college-bound: Mario's journey at DSST: Cedar

Mario Garcia’s journey to his senior year looked very different than he expected. He has always been a shy student, but his middle and high school experiences at DSST: Cedar, and his teachers helped him break out of his shell and get him to where he is now.

“Even though I was shy, I tried to talk to everyone, make friends and be part of the community,” Mario said. “Community is important because it helps you get through school work or personal life.”

DSST values community and through his experiences and friendships, Mario started to see his future in a different light. Seeing his friends as seniors making college choices propelled Mario to genuinely start considering college as an option for him. 

“The idea of college was really implanted in us at DSST,” Mario said. “DSST's preparation for college led me to choose to go to college. If it wasn’t for DSST, I don’t think college would have been my top choice. DSST prepares us not only for schoolwork but also for college life.”

DSST: Cedar also helped foster a strong sense of community engagement and a global mindset for Mario.

“I want to study abroad, thanks to the club Falcons Without Borders,” Mario said. “The club was supposed to go to Guatemala before COVID hit. It was disappointing we didn’t get to go, but it was really fun to serve the community.”

Now, Mario is deciding between Michigan State and Colorado School of Mines, where he plans to study mechanical engineering or automotive engineering. 

“One of the teachers who helped in high school and helped me decide what I want to do in college is Mr. Shane,” said Mario. “He told me about going away from home for school. He went to Michigan and told me about Michigan State. I got to visit Michigan State, and I loved it. I’d also like to thank Mr. Greif. He’s been really helpful throughout this whole college application process, and if I need anything, he’s always there to help me.”

As for the future, Mario has a clear path and knows his strong foundation set at DSST: Cedar will help get him there.