OLYMPIA, Wash. — Juan Garcia, Washington State University Extension educator based in Adams County, was appointed to the Commission on Hispanic Affairs by Governor Christine Gregoire on August 27.
In serving on the commission, Garcia said one of his main goals is to raise awareness of the effects of policies and procedures created in Olympia on rural communities in eastern Washington because the effects can differ greatly from those in western Washington. For example, he said changes to funding for educational and social-service programs may have a detrimental effect on certain rural communities in which there are higher populations of children who qualify for free and reduced lunch.
Garcia has an extensive background working with government and non-profit agencies, and several institutions of higher education. He has worked with programs that tend to focus on the needs of rural communities, particularly ones that target underprivileged populations and individuals living in poverty, and assisted in the establishment and management of various grant funded programs throughout Washington and Alaska.
Garcia said he will work to bring attention to the educational needs of children living in rural communities. He wants to ensure that youth who wish to pursue a college education are given the opportunity. If there is anything he can do to help in this process, he said, he is more than willing to do so.
NOTE: Intern Tessa Rawie is the major contributor to this story.