For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Joaquin Garcia

2475

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I am a student that wants to pursue an education and eventually a career in the field of Biology, either in Wildlife Biology or Sports Medicine.

Education

Lincoln High School (Seattle)

High School
2020 - 2024
  • GPA:
    4

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Ecology, Evolution, Systematics, and Population Biology
    • Marine Sciences
    • Zoology/Animal Biology
    • Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness
    • Environmental/Natural Resources Management and Policy
    -
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Environmental Services

    • Dream career goals:

      Becoming a fisheries researcher, either marine or freshwater.

      Sports

      Track & Field

      Varsity
      2020 - Present4 years

      Football

      Varsity
      2020 - Present4 years

      Research

      • Fishing and Fisheries Sciences and Management

        N/A (Self-guided research)Independent Aquatic Species Data Collector: Conducted species assessment of fish caught during fishing trips including location, date, species, and length; Compiled data into research journal.
        2022 – 2023

      Arts

      • Photography
        2022 – 2023

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        Ecology Project InternationalVolunteer Species Abundance Surveyor: Contribute to terrestrial research projects at Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society's field station; Monitor coral reefs; Conduct fish surveys.
        2024 – 2024
      • Volunteering

        24-Seven Ministry CenterBuilt playground for Romanian orphanage supporting 100+ children aged 3-13, Led Youth Bible lessons; Provided support services to marginalized group.
        2019 – 2019
      • Volunteering

        24-Seven Ministry CenterLead Videographer and Assistant Production Manager. I Managed two video cameras, create/run slide presentations for livestreamed worship service; Set up/put away cameras and tables for services and potlucks.
        2020 – Present

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Volunteering

      Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
      In January of 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it began. The anxiety attacks, the dark thoughts, they all came out of nowhere. Ten Months into the Pandemic, I felt like suddenly I was in a free fall and I couldn’t catch myself, with my thoughts spiraling downward. Early on, I got to the point where I felt unsafe being alone, afraid that these dark thoughts I was having were going to consume me at any given moment. I knew I didn’t want to act on any of these thoughts, but I was still petrified by the fact that they were so constant. I’d never experienced anything like this before, where it felt as if the walls were constantly closing in on me and I was helpless to stop it on my own. This continued for months, and I started seeing a therapist to get me out of crisis mode and help me out of this mental state that I had found myself in. I slept on a mattress on the floor of my parent's bedroom for almost six months because I was afraid of myself and what I was feared I was capable of doing. I fell out of contact with my friends, not talking to them for months as a result of this. Luckily, my parents noticed this immediately and supported me as best as they could immediately, talking things through with me and comforting me. Within the first couple of weeks, they went out and found a therapist for me to talk to, and they stayed with me every step of the way when I was at my lowest and in the few bright moments that peeked out through the darkness. Through the love of my parents and the care of those around me, I had people to talk to who made themselves available to talk with me whenever I needed. I still went to church then, and I found support there as well. My pastor prayed with me, and my church family made an effort to reach out and check in constantly. Through this support, I was able to slowly but surely make progress, the anxiety attacks shifting from constant to a few times a day, eventually becoming infrequent and tolerable, not impacting the way I live my life anymore. Now, although I still sometimes get anxiety attacks, they are very few and far between, and not completely out of the blue like they were before. I have gained tools to combat my intrusive thoughts, like learning breathing exercises, making short-term goals, checking in with myself, and, as well as leaning on others for support. I went from not talking to my friends for months to now hanging out with them all the time, from being isolated and wondering if I was even going to make it to my 15th birthday to now being 17 and thriving in high school, taking advanced classes, participating in sports, and just loving life so much in general. I am happy that I am where I am. Mental health struggles leave an imprint. I am so thankful for all the support I had in getting through all the anxiety attacks and dark thoughts, and I’ve developed skills to mitigate my anxiety and be in control of my mental health. This experience has taught me the value of having people that have your back not only when it is easy, but most importantly when it is hard. It made me who I am today, which is a much more empathetic and caring person than before. My experiences with mental health have made me someone who is driven to make a positive impact on the world and the people around me.
      Biff McGhee Memorial Scholarship
      My love for biology goes back as far as elementary school. My science teacher, a former biological researcher, emphasized the study of all things in nature but especially the study of animals. I remember a lab we did in second or third grade, where we made a mock animal encyclopedia entry for a toucan, complete with facts and handmade “scientific” drawings made with precision using rulers and geometric-shaped stencils. It was activities like this that nurtured my curiosity for biology. I was intrigued by the minute data you could collect, down to the patterns on feathers. Because nature is so vast, there are still and will always be so many discoveries to be made, so much that is new to learn and comprehend. With COVID-19, I suddenly had seemingly infinite free time, so I channeled my curiosity and early love of nature into fishing. I had fished with my dad a few times, but we never had luck catching anything, so I watched as many YouTube videos as I could and read numerous scientific journals to find tips for fishing. I learned not only how to find and catch fish, but also how to identify them, which became my favorite part of fishing. Learning species identification and identifying distinguishing characteristics to differentiate closely related species endlessly fascinates me. I have used these skills to gather data about species size and those species that are most abundant, to make inferences about the health of each population in various bodies of water, and eventually compile it all into a research journal. On an upcoming research trip with Ecology Project International, I will contribute to terrestrial research projects such as neotropical bat surveys and herpetology studies, as well as collect data on fish species on the Belize Barrier Reef. Through the Belize trip, my research journal, and taking AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, and Marine Science, I have been striving in my high school career to learn as much as I can about biological processes in nature. Being able to work in the field conducting surveys and collecting data as a Wildlife Biologist or a Field Ecologist is my dream, and being awarded this scholarship greatly would enhance my education and further my pursuit of this goal. It will allow me to channel my curiosity and appreciation for nature into creating a world with a better understanding of wildlife and a drive to preserve the species and ecosystems so they can be appreciated in the future. Oceans are such vast biomes with endless discoveries to be made and wildlife to be protected, and for that to happen there needs to be scientists to research the ocean and its inhabitants. I plan to use my degree to study aquatic species, particularly fish. My love of fishing gave me a great appreciation for these amazing animals and how diverse they can be, ranging from deep sea species to reef fish, with sizes starting at Whale Sharks and going all the way down to microscopic species. Conservation is the ultimate goal, to protect as many of these species as possible. I hope to research different fish species to make discoveries on attributes and characteristics unique to those specific species and use my work to improve conservation efforts and preserve the planet for generations to come.
      Simon Strong Scholarship
      It was January of 2021 when a crippling anxiety attack changed my life forever. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t eat, and I didn’t want to be left alone. Ten months into the Pandemic, I suddenly felt as though I was in a free-fall, unable to catch myself. I’d never experienced anything like this before, where the walls were constantly closing in on me. I slept on a mattress on the floor of my parent’s bedroom for six months before I felt secure. I am extraordinarily lucky-I had people who made themselves available to me whenever I needed. The most important of these were my parents who supported me every step of the way. They found me a therapist to talk to and made sure I attended church, where I felt supported and cared for. Through this support, I was able to slowly but surely make progress, the anxiety attacks shifting from constant to a few times a day, eventually becoming infrequent, not impacting the way I live my life anymore. While this time was most challenging, and there are times when I still experience anxiety, it was also a gift. I know now that the anxiety attacks were manufactured by my mind and have armed myself with the ability to recognize that in the future. I gained the skills necessary to mitigate my anxiety and help me tackle any future obstacles or opportunities including creating short-term goals, utilizing calming exercises, and developing a willingness to turn to others for support. As a result of this growth, I went from being isolated and unsure to thriving in high school, taking advanced classes, and participating in sports. My experience with mental health made me a much more empathetic and caring person than before and allows me to better notice when people struggle and offer them more informed support. I’m happy that I am where I am, and if I were to come across somebody experiencing the same things I dealt with, I would say that it is important to surround yourself with people that you care about and especially those you trust. Also, trust that moments pass, regardless of how long they take. Nothing lasts forever, neither good nor bad, so as long as you are around people that you genuinely trust and care about, and who care about you will be able to get past your moments of hardship.
      Minority/BIPOC Students in STEM Scholarship
      My love for biology goes back as far as elementary school. My science teacher, a former biological researcher, emphasized the study of all things in nature but especially the study of animals. I remember a lab we did in second or third grade, where we made a mock animal encyclopedia entry for a toucan, complete with facts and handmade “scientific” drawings made with precision using rulers and geometric-shaped stencils. It was activities like this that nurtured my curiosity for biology. I was intrigued by the minute data you could collect, down to the patterns on feathers. Because nature is so vast, there are still and will always be so many discoveries to be made, so much that is new to learn and comprehend. With COVID-19, I suddenly had seemingly infinite free time, so I channeled my curiosity and early love of nature into fishing. I had fished with my dad a few times, but we never had luck catching anything, so I watched as many YouTube videos as I could and read numerous scientific journals to find tips for fishing. I learned not only how to find and catch fish, but also how to identify them, which became my favorite part of fishing. Learning species identification and identifying distinguishing characteristics to differentiate closely related species endlessly fascinates me. I have used these skills to gather data about species size and those species that are most abundant, to make inferences about the health of each population in various bodies of water, and eventually compile it all into a research journal. On an upcoming research trip with Ecology Project International, I will contribute to terrestrial research projects such as neotropical bat surveys and herpetology studies, as well as collect data on fish species on the Belize Barrier Reef. Through the Belize trip, my research journal, and taking AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, and Marine Science, I have been striving in my high school career to learn as much as I can about biological processes in nature. Being able to work in the field conducting surveys and collecting data as a Wildlife Biologist or a Field Ecologist is my dream, and being awarded this scholarship greatly would enhance my education and further my pursuit of this goal. It will allow me to channel my curiosity and appreciation for nature into creating a world with a better understanding of wildlife and a drive to preserve the species and ecosystems so they can be appreciated in the future. Oceans are such vast biomes with endless discoveries to be made and wildlife to be protected, and for that to happen there needs to be scientists to research the ocean and its inhabitants. I plan to use my degree to study aquatic species, particularly fish. My love of fishing gave me a great appreciation for these amazing animals and how diverse they can be, ranging from deep-water to reef fish, with sizes starting at Whale Sharks and going all the way down to microscopic species. Conservation is the ultimate goal, to protect as many of these species as possible. I hope to research different fish species to make discoveries on attributes and characteristics unique to those specific species and use my work to improve conservation efforts and preserve the planet for generations to come.
      Anthony Bruder Memorial Scholarship
      The shock from the group was palpable. No one saw Coach Hart’s resignation coming. This was a man who dedicated years developing us, not just as football players, but as a community. He’d provided structure to a sport that got me through crippling anxiety and my lowest moments during the Covid-19 pandemic. The football team was something I immersed myself in during this difficult period; the place where I found community in a time of isolation. And now, mere weeks before the start of spring training for my final season, Coach was walking away. As he explained why, I just sat there on the gym floor, reeling. I wasn’t the only one feeling lost and disconnected. Many of my teammates came to me with questions asking what was going to happen next with the team, what we were going to do now that Coach was gone. As a senior leader, they were looking to me for answers. I didn’t know how to tell them that I didn’t have any. I didn’t know what to do, and I felt as though nothing had prepared me for this moment. Then I recalled earlier that year that Coach selected me, along with a few others, to serve as team leaders and representatives. The Leadership Council meetings were a place for discussing important decisions affecting the team and learning leadership lessons centered around the book Legacy. Every Wednesday morning meeting, I listened intently during Coach’s lessons on how to be a servant leader and lead by example. While I could tell that what I was learning would someday be invaluable, I didn’t see myself as a leader yet. When Coach left, I saw my community falling apart and knew I had to do something about it, so I drew on the lessons he taught me as best as I could to hold my team together. I was raised in a Hispanic household, and in my culture, valuing the community you have around you and your family is an intrinsic belief instilled throughout your entire life. My team, the people I fought tooth and nail for on the field, had become a second family to me. Keeping the team together was something that I was going to fight for with everything that I had. I called an emergency meeting with our leadership council and interim head coach to determine what to do next. Whether it was leading our morning weightlifting sessions or communicating with people on the team who were unsure if they were going to continue playing after that year, I took the initiative to bring the team closer together in any way I could. I reinforced that football is more than just a team from sideline to sideline; it’s a family outside the sport too. I took all those lessons introduced on Wednesday morning and incorporated them into my new role of leader. I checked in with my younger teammates daily, whether it was on the field, in the school hallway, or by text and encouraged them to keep working hard and fight for each other both on and off the field. Some did end up leaving, but those that stayed rallied and formed a brotherhood even stronger than before. At the time of Coach’s departure, I didn’t feel prepared to lead my team, but I’ve since embraced the leadership opportunity by maturing into an active communicator, becoming more adaptable and responding better to dynamic situations. Armed with this experience and these new skills, I am ready to branch out and find a new community I can contribute to and learn from.
      Dennis L. N. Yakobson Scholarship Fund
      My love for biology goes back as far as elementary school. My science teacher, a former biological researcher, emphasized the study of all things in nature but especially the study of animals. I remember a lab we did in second or third grade, where we made a mock animal encyclopedia entry for a toucan, complete with facts and handmade “scientific” drawings made with precision using rulers and geometric-shaped stencils. It was activities like this that nurtured my curiosity for biology. I was intrigued by the minute data you could collect, down to the patterns on feathers. Because nature is so vast, there are still and will always be so many discoveries to be made, so much that is new to learn and comprehend. With COVID-19, I suddenly had seemingly infinite free time, so I channeled my curiosity and early love of nature into fishing. I had fished with my dad a few times, but we never had luck catching anything, so I watched as many YouTube videos as I could and read numerous scientific journals to find tips for fishing. I learned not only how to find and catch fish, but also how to identify them, which became my favorite part of fishing. Learning species identification and identifying distinguishing characteristics to differentiate closely related species endlessly fascinates me. I have used these skills to gather data about species size and those species that are most abundant, to make inferences about the health of each population in various bodies of water, and eventually compile it all into a research journal. On an upcoming research trip with Ecology Project International, I will contribute to terrestrial research projects such as neotropical bat surveys and herpetology studies, as well as collect data on fish species on the Belize Barrier Reef. Through the Belize trip, my research journal, and taking AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, and Marine Science, I have been striving in my high school career to learn as much as I can about biological processes in nature. Being able to work in the field conducting surveys and collecting data as a Wildlife Biologist or a Field Ecologist is my dream, and being awarded this scholarship greatly would enhance my education and further my pursuit of this goal. It will allow me to channel my curiosity and appreciation for nature into creating a world with a better understanding of wildlife and a drive to preserve the species and ecosystems so they can be appreciated in the future. Oceans are such vast biomes with endless discoveries to be made and wildlife to be protected, and for that to happen there needs to be scientists to research the ocean and its inhabitants. I plan to use my degree to study aquatic species, particularly fish. My love of fishing gave me a great appreciation for these amazing animals and how diverse they can be, ranging from deepwater to reef fish, with sizes starting at Whale Sharks and going all the way down to microscopic species. Conservation is the ultimate goal, to protect as many of these species as possible. I hope to research different fish species to make discoveries on attributes and characteristics unique to those specific species.
      Carol S. Comeau Environmental Scholarship
      Winner
      My love for biology goes back as far as elementary school. My science teacher, a former biological researcher, emphasized the study of all things in nature but especially the study of animals. I remember a lab we did in second or third grade, where we made a mock animal encyclopedia entry for a toucan, complete with facts and handmade “scientific” drawings made with precision using rulers and geometric-shaped stencils. It was activities like this that nurtured my curiosity for biology. I was intrigued by the minute data you could collect, down to the patterns on feathers. Because nature is so vast, there are still and will always be so many discoveries to be made, so much that is new to learn and comprehend. With COVID-19, I suddenly had seemingly infinite free time, so I channeled my curiosity and early love of nature into fishing. I had fished with my dad a few times, but we never had luck catching anything, so I watched as many YouTube videos as I could and read numerous scientific journals to find tips for fishing. I learned not only how to find and catch fish, but also how to identify them, which became my favorite part of fishing. Learning species identification and identifying distinguishing characteristics to differentiate closely related species endlessly fascinates me. I have used these skills to gather data about species size and those species that are most abundant, to make inferences about the health of each population in various bodies of water, and eventually compile it all into a research journal. On an upcoming research trip with Ecology Project International, I will contribute to terrestrial research projects such as neotropical bat surveys and herpetology studies, as well as collect data on fish species on the Belize Barrier Reef. Through the Belize trip, my research journal, and taking AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, and Marine Science, I have been striving in my high school career to learn as much as I can about biological processes in nature. Being able to work in the field conducting surveys and collecting data as a Wildlife Biologist or a Field Ecologist is my dream, and being awarded this scholarship greatly would enhance my education and further my pursuit of this goal. It will allow me to channel my curiosity and appreciation for nature into creating a world with a better understanding of wildlife and a drive to preserve the species and ecosystems so they can be appreciated in the future.
      Ventana Ocean Conservation Scholarship
      My love for biology goes back as far as elementary school. My science teacher, a former biological researcher, emphasized the study of all things in nature but especially the study of animals. I remember a lab we did in second or third grade, where we made a mock animal encyclopedia entry for a toucan, complete with facts and handmade “scientific” drawings made with precision using rulers and geometric-shaped stencils. It was activities like this that nurtured my curiosity for biology. I was intrigued by the minute data you could collect, down to the patterns on feathers. Because nature is so vast, there are still and will always be so many discoveries to be made, so much that is new to learn and comprehend. With COVID-19, I suddenly had seemingly infinite free time, so I channeled my curiosity and early love of nature into fishing. I had fished with my dad a few times, but we never had luck catching anything, so I watched as many YouTube videos as I could and read numerous scientific journals to find tips for fishing. I learned not only how to find and catch fish, but also how to identify them, which became my favorite part of fishing. Learning species identification and identifying distinguishing characteristics to differentiate closely related species endlessly fascinates me. I have used these skills to gather data about species size and those species that are most abundant, to make inferences about the health of each population in various bodies of water, and eventually compile it all into a research journal. On an upcoming research trip with Ecology Project International, I will contribute to terrestrial research projects such as neotropical bat surveys and herpetology studies, as well as collect data on fish species on the Belize Barrier Reef. Through the Belize trip, my research journal, and taking AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, and Marine Science, I have been striving in my high school career to learn as much as I can about biological processes in nature. Being able to work in the field conducting surveys and collecting data as a Wildlife Biologist or a Field Ecologist is my dream, and being awarded this scholarship greatly would enhance my education and further my pursuit of this goal. It will allow me to channel my curiosity and appreciation for nature into creating a world with a better understanding of wildlife and a drive to preserve the species and ecosystems so they can be appreciated in the future. Oceans are such vast biomes with endless discoveries to be made and wildlife to be protected, and for that to happen there needs to be scientists to research the ocean and its inhabitants. I plan to use my degree to study aquatic species, particularly fish. My love of fishing gave me a great appreciation for these amazing animals and how diverse they can be, ranging from deepwater to reef fish, with sizes starting at Whale Sharks and going all the way down to microscopic species. Conservation is the ultimate goal, to protect as many of these species as possible. I hope to research different fish species to make discoveries on attributes and characteristics unique to those specific species.
      Boddu Football Scholarship
      The shock from the group was palpable. No one saw Coach Hart’s resignation coming. This was a man who dedicated years developing us, not just as football players, but as a community. He’d provided structure to a sport that got me through crippling anxiety and my lowest moments during the Covid-19 pandemic. The football team was something I immersed myself in during this difficult period; the place where I found community in a time of isolation. And now, mere weeks before the start of spring training for my final season, Coach was walking away. As he explained why, I just sat there on the gym floor, reeling. I wasn’t the only one feeling lost and disconnected. Many of my teammates came to me with questions asking what was going to happen next with the team, what we were going to do now that Coach was gone. As a senior leader, they were looking to me for answers. I didn’t know how to tell them that I didn’t have any. I didn’t know what to do, and I felt as though nothing had prepared me for this moment. Then I recalled earlier that year that Coach selected me, along with a few others, to serve as team leaders and representatives. The Leadership Council meetings were a place for discussing important decisions affecting the team and learning leadership lessons centered around the book Legacy. Every Wednesday morning meeting, I listened intently during Coach’s lessons on how to be a servant leader and lead by example. While I could tell that what I was learning would someday be invaluable, I didn’t see myself as a leader yet. When Coach left, I saw my community falling apart and knew I had to do something about it, so I drew on the lessons he taught me as best as I could to hold my team together. I was raised in a Hispanic household, and in my culture, valuing the community you have around you and your family is an intrinsic belief instilled throughout your entire life. My team, the people I fought tooth and nail for on the field, had become a second family to me. Keeping the team together was something that I was going to fight for with everything that I had. I called an emergency meeting with our leadership council and interim head coach to determine what to do next. Whether it was leading our morning weightlifting sessions or communicating with people on the team who were unsure if they were going to continue playing after that year, I took the initiative to bring the team closer together in any way I could. I reinforced that football is more than just a team from sideline to sideline; it’s a family outside the sport too. I took all those lessons introduced on Wednesday morning and incorporated them into my new role of leader. I checked in with my younger teammates daily, whether it was on the field, in the school hallway, or by text and encouraged them to keep working hard and fight for each other both on and off the field. Some did end up leaving, but those that stayed rallied and formed a brotherhood even stronger than before. At the time of Coach’s departure, I didn’t feel prepared to lead my team, but I’ve since embraced the leadership opportunity by maturing into an active communicator, becoming more adaptable and responding better to dynamic situations. Armed with this experience and these new skills, I am ready to branch out and find a new community I can contribute to and learn from.
      KC R. Sandidge Photography Scholarship
      A trickling oasis in a desolate canyon landscape. I was on a hike just outside the boundaries of Arches National Park and saw this pristine little brook spouting out a hole in a cliff face, dribbling into a thicket of brush and directly under an arch, and I knew I had to capture that moment. My mom and sister, who did not make it to the end of the hike due to the intense 100-degree heat, were about a mile down the path, resting at a shaded spot on the trail. I knew they deserved to see this majestic scene with their own eyes, despite not being able to traverse the difficult path, so I took a picture of it for them. The moment I showed them that picture and their eyes lit up, I knew I had to pursue this passion. Through that photo, they were able to experience the end of that hike, a hike that they weren’t physically able to complete. The joy it gave them was amazing to see, and it gave me so much pride that I decided to make this my passion. Since then, I’ve taken photos of snapshots, both big and small, to show people things they might not otherwise see. Showing people different angles and viewpoints is what photography means to me. Photography is a portal, an opening that allows the viewer to see snapshots into a different world, or at least a perspective that they have not seen, or many times even considered before. I strive to put the look I was able to see on my family’s face after showing them that desert oasis photo on as many people’s faces as possible.