‘I Am Proof That an Education is Possible’
With support from her faculty, interior design student Gabriella Garcia found success at UI.
Some of Gabriella Garcia’s earliest memories are of her father, Adam Garcia, developing blueprints and meeting with clients at his architecture firm.
“He was self-taught, and the way he talked with clients and other architects always seemed so impressive to me,” said Garcia, a Caldwell native and senior at the University of Idaho.
Despite a lifelong struggle with dyslexia, Garcia never questioned her desire to also pursue a degree in interior design.
“I knew I wanted to be a designer — I was born to do this,” she said. “My dad said UI had a strong design program and after looking at other schools, I chose UI because they made it easy financially.”
As an architecture and interior design student in the College of Art and Architecture, Garcia’s dyslexia became harder to manage. As a sophomore, her GPA fell well below 2.5. She knew that if she didn’t turn things around, she wasn’t going to be able to complete the program.
“I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it. My father kept telling me, ‘It’s hard now, but it’s temporary,’” she said. “Those were the words I needed to hear to try.”
With her ambition and the support of her professors, Garcia is now on the dean’s list with a GPA over 3.5.
“Gabriella has always had a strong desire to improve her abilities and has gone the extra mile with a tremendous amount of effort and perseverance,” said Minyoung Cerruti, an instructor in interior design. “She has made a very positive impact on her peer group with her patient personality and willingness to share her experiences with cheerful encouragement.”
With support from her family and the university, Garcia has continued to shine. As a junior last spring, she won the People’s Choice award at the Interior Designers of Idaho’s regional Chair Affair design competition, and spent the summer as an intern with Office Environment Company in Boise, where she hopes to work after she graduates in spring 2018.
“I am proof that an education is possible,” she said.
Article by Holly Funk, College of Art and Architecture