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'I want to help everyone around': Peach County High senior plans to join the Marines, become a pediatrician

Jessica Garcia had to step up when her dad was in an accident about two years ago, but now she's graduating with plans of becoming a pediatrician.

PEACH COUNTY, Ga. — As part of our 'Great Grads' series, we're highlighting some stellar students in the Central Georgia community. 

Peach County High School senior Jessica Garcia isn't letting COVID-19 closings keep her down. She's using the time at home to set up future plans after the pandemic ends.

"If I have the opportunity, I want to take it and go ahead and further my education and my future," Garcia said.

Garcia is sad about missing out on her last semester, but she's not wasting time this spring.

"I plan to go ahead and ship off into the Marine Corps and do my four years, and then with the GI Bill, I plan to go ahead and attend college and go ahead and get a career in the health care field," Garcia said.

She's worked hard all through high school, holding leadership positions in JROTC, being President of the Future Health Professionals Club and running cross country while maintaining a 3.5 GPA.

"Most of the time I spend most of my weekends doing what I need to to get caught up, so I never let that slip, because that's important to my parents. You know if you can't uphold your grades, then you don't need to be in this particular club because it's not helping," Garcia said.

As the second oldest of four, she feels she has to set a good example for her younger siblings, and she stepped up when her family needed her the most.

"Almost two years ago, my dad did break his leg. He fell off a two-story floor. He was working. In that time I had to help my mom with the bills and my older brother. So I had to get a job and look after my siblings while my mom looked after my dad," Garcia said.

She says that difficult time taught her valuable lessons.

"Life's hard. You just have to get up, smile, and be kind to other people, because you don't know what they're going through," Garcia said.

Caring after her family fuels her passion for healthcare, which hasn't faltered despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

"No, no the contrary, like it makes me want to get there sooner to help with this. I want to help everyone around," Garcia said.

Garcia says she wants to be a pediatrician, after caring after her younger siblings.

Best of luck to Jessica Garcia, our first great grad from Peach County!

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FACTS NOT FEAR | At 13WMAZ, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the coronavirus. To see our full coverage, visit our site section here: www.13wmaz.com/Coronavirus.