Zoe Garza-Pinales, a sophomore biology major and first-generation college student at Texas State University, is an active and engaged civic leader within the campus community. She is involved in the Hispanic Student Association and serves on the executive committee for Bobcat Build, the largest service project at Texas State dedicated to serving community-based need in San Marcos and surrounding areas. The value of collaborating with communities, whether they are local or global, to advocate for social change was instilled in her at a young age and demonstrated through her various involvements prior to her time at Texas State, including serving as a certified nursing assistant at both Wesleyan Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Seton Williamson Medical Center. This community-centered approach is currently being exemplified by Ms. Garza-Pinales in her campus involvement as she works to achieve her dream of bringing about positive, sustainable changes to the medical community that will further impact and improve our global society.
Being involved in communities and helping others was instilled in me at a young age by my wonderful and considerate parents. My family has endured hardships but because of those challenges, we have aspired to always share love and empathy with others. Growing up my family and I would find ways to help the community through volunteering in soup kitchens during holidays, to making pillows and blankets for children at local hospitals, and other similar experiences. As I got older, I became more involved in my high school by joining a variety of clubs that served the community and am now fortunate to continue my service work at the university level. At a pivotal age, I also experienced becoming a secondary caregiver for my grandmother with Alzheimer’s. This has shaped the person that I am today. This significant circumstance coupled with my community involvement experiences has inspired me to pursue a career in the medical field and has taught me a variation of skills to make a substantial and significant impact in my community.