Name: Dante Garcia
House: Hawksley II

Hello, my name is Dante Garcia, a third-year biology student at the University of Florida who currently resides at Hawksley II. I was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida, surrounded by the vacationing Amish community and retired old couples. Prior to attending UF, I was a high schooler excited about the prospect of college, but terrified of the financial burdens that would come with it. The discussion of college financials has always been a heavy one in my household, as I knew from a young age that I would have to support myself if I were to pursue higher education. Thanks to SSF, I did not have to worry about living in an expensive dorm filled with asbestos and communal bathrooms, but a house full of great people and opportunities. My time at SSF has been filled with new friends and new experiences that I could have never experienced without the scholarship.

During my time at UF, I have worked at a UF lab facility that researches the ideal genomics of corn breeding, with responsibilities including analysis of corn growth, data retrieval, and assisted in crossbreeding for effective population growth. I am currently an undergraduate teaching assistant for a microbiology lab where I help conduct procedures with students, as well as organize the class structure through course content. I will be pursuing potential internships this upcoming summer in the microbiology field, hopefully working under a research program to prepare me for graduate school. Besides my academic involvements, I am currently at my house’s BM, with this being my third semester. The role of BM has been a gratifying one, as it has taught me how to prioritize communal needs, as well as improving my communication and organizational skills. Most recently I became an ambassador for SSF, marking this semester as my first, hopefully with more semesters to come.

In my spare time when I am not worrying about studying the posttranscriptional processes of gene expressions, I like to read, spend time with friends, baking, and doing crafty projects. These hobbies all give me an outlet to unwind and dissociate from everyday troubles, letting me dive headfirst in low-stress activities.