Memorial scholarship honors Garcia’s legacy

Jason Garcia Memorial Scholarship recipients and committee members are recognized by the Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees at its June 1 meeting. (Courtesy photo)

The legacy of Jason Garcia, a 2006 Rivera High School graduate who went on to earn a degree in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville on a football scholarship, played on the the Javelina football team from 2006-2010, coached varsity football and powerlifting at Porter and Pace, and in Mission and Donna, lives on in the Jason Garcia Memorial Scholarship.

Twelve of Jason’s friends created the scholarship as a way to honor his legacy after he passed away in a tragic accident in 2016.

The 12 friends conduct fundraisers for the scholarships. In addition, they keep in touch with Garcia’s mother, Maria Lopez Garcia, who says she couldn’t have gotten through the trauma of losing a son without them. The 12 friends and Jason Garcia go all the way back to middle school, she said.

“On Mother’s Day one of them will take me out for dinner, they’ll be there on Jason’s birthday and for the yearly fundraiser,” she said, which again was held this year at Dog House Pub & Grub in Brownsville

This was the fifth annual fundraiser. Last year’s event had to be cancelled due to COVID.

“Jason was a proud graduate of Rivera High School in 2006. He had a huge heart along with a smile that touched many lives. He loved to help and give to others. Jason will be remembered for his passion for football, his strong will, charisma, his love for his family, friends, and especially for his two boys,” his obituary reads.

This year the committee chose 18 recipients from BISD high schools.

Athletic coordinators from each high school were given applications for any student that had participated in UIL athletic events. Each participant had to complete an application that included an essay and two teacher recommendations. The committee reviewed the applications and three students from each BISD high schools were selected, along with two recipients from Donna ISD, where Garcia also coached.

Each recipient received a $250 scholarship.

Committeee members include Antonio (Tiger) Padilla, Leo Zamarripa, Matt Wolfe, Roger Reyna, Venus Martinez, Vale Montemayor, Johnnny Figueroa, Chris Hite, Willie Esparza, Kevin Cantu, Joey Garcia and Tom Abete.

Scholarship recipients are:

Porter Early College High School:

>> Kevin Garcia

>> Katherina Salas

>> Aliah Prater

Pace ECHS:

>> Andrea Toledo

>> Mark Garcia

>> Omar Salinas

Rivera ECHS:

>> Bethany Guzman

>> Alondra Guzman

>> Andres Perez

Hanna HS:

>> Jadizvette Leal

>> Diego Escovar

>> Camille A. Atkinson

Lopez ECHS:

>> Katherine Rodriguez

>> Brenda Savariego

>> Jesus Serrata

Veterans ECHS:

>> Matthew Maddox

>> Fabiola Nino

>> Javier Hinojosa

Donna High School:

> Eduardo Rosas

Donna North High School:

> Gabriella Aviles