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Member & Activist Spotlight

Alejandro Garcia: It Was All Made Possible

Alejandro Garcia is a special education educator in the Ysleta Independent School District in the southeastern corner of El Paso, a board member for his local union, and serves as a captain for the union's political action committee.
Alejandro Garcia
Published: February 22, 2021

My career in education has unfolded in stages. I’ve been boosted along by mentors and been given great opportunities to find the work I love in my school, with my union, and in public policy, particularly as it relates to education. 

 At 21, I was a somewhat ‘unaware’ student, with a limited perspective about what I wanted to do after I graduated from community college. I grew up in El Paso, Texas in the projects and the child of a single mom struggling to make ends meet. When a job came open for an aide to P.E. classes at a local elementary school, I applied. It was the first step in my 19-year career in education—where I found the work I believe was meant to do. 

Like many new to education—I struggled. But I soon found that teaching and working with students with special needs was the right place for me. I received assistance handling classrooms and an administrator helped me return to school to get my bachelor’s degree in special education. Critically, my union president played a key role in getting me active in our union. She encouraged me to be a leader in my school and community. 

I’m now a special education teacher, a board member for the Yselta Teachers Association (YTA), which I’m proud to say is one of the strongest voices for education in Texas.

It was all made possible by mentors and the opportunities that presented themselves. 

In the classroom, I now see myself in my students as they struggle with challenges the way I did as a young person. I hope I can provide the support that others have given to me. Beyond that, I completed my master’s to be an educational diagnostician and hope to continue work within special education and diagnose learning challenges and develop plans to help students advance.


National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.