Spend a few minutes talking with Nallely Juarez ’09 and Sandra Garcia ’12, and it becomes readily apparent that family is vital to these sisters. And, that their collective Reinhardt Experience was quite remarkable.
Juarez and Garcia both earned their degrees from Reinhardt University’s Price School of Education, and this January they begin teaching in the same school system. Their education was made possible through the generosity of the Goizueta Foundation’s endowed scholarship program.
While their personalities and experiences are different, the sisters created lasting memories on Reinhardt’s campus as they earned their degrees to become the educators of today.
“Some of the best memories of my life with my sister took place at Reinhardt as we went to the Echo Garden or walked to the Glasshouse through the beautiful scenery that surrounds Reinhardt University,” Garcia said.
Juarez is using her Reinhardt degree to teach English and Language Arts at Gilmer Middle School, and Garcia, currently at Cherokee High School, will teach math at Gilmer High School next year. Juarez always held a passion for teaching, however, Garcia started her journey as a music major, later joining Reinhardt’s secondary math education program.
“Reinhardt inspired me to ensure that education transcends the classroom. My professors at Reinhardt often recited that ‘one size cannot fit all students’ and it simply became my philosophy,” said Juarez. “I am able to see the uniqueness in every child, which I use to find the best way to meet his or her needs.”
With experience tutoring math, Garcia continued her efforts in the Reinhardt Student Success Center with her sister. Along with her knowledge of the Price School of Education, this piqued her interest in education.
“I gave it a try and began taking math courses with Dr. Richard Summers. His wisdom and intelligence made me fall in love with math even more, and I decided to major in mathematics while also finishing the secondary math education program to earn my teaching license,” said Garcia.
In addition to tutoring, Juarez was active in the Student Government Association, taking on vice president of administration in 2007-2008; something she reports provided a solid foundation for her career.
The sisters came to Reinhardt after being recruited by business instructor Walter Beck, who expressed his pride in how both Juarez and Garcia have contributed to the greater community.
“Both have become a credit to the community, giving back more than they ever received,” said Beck.
Both sisters benefitted from the Goizueta Scholarship, making it possible for them to receive an education.
“I see the Goizueta Scholarship as a door to success. Without the scholarship, I don’t think I would be where I am today,” said Juarez. “I had no other means to attend college.”
“The Goizueta Scholarship made my education possible and was the door God opened to help me reach for the stars,” said Garcia.
Established in 1992 by the former chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, Roberto C. Goizueta, The Goizueta Foundation has provided financial assistance to students attending Reinhardt University since 2003. Today, The Goizueta Foundation continues to support Reinhardt students each year through an endowed fund held by the University.
Additionally, The Goizueta Foundation awarded Reinhardt a grant in the amount of $1.5 million, which established the Center for Innovative Teaching and Engaged Learning earlier this year.