From student to success: Crafton Hills College alumni to receive prestigious award - Crafton Hills College
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Publish Date: April 2, 2024

Damian G. Garcia

Crafton Hills College (CHC) proudly announces Damian G. Garcia as the 2024 Outstanding Alumni Award recipient. This accolade, presented each year by the CHC Foundation, recognizes a former student who exemplifies the dynamic and positive qualities the Crafton experience can produce. 

Born and raised in the Inland Empire, Garcia's upbringing influenced his work ethic and drive early on. Despite facing challenges and being among the few Hispanic people in his community and academic career, Garcia remained committed to pursuing higher education and professional success. He was the first of his family to attend college.

“My parents, particularly my father, instilled the values of hard work, determination and perseverance,” said Garcia. “My family influenced me to always strive for success, no matter what hardships interfered with my path.”

Garcia’s higher education journey began at CHC, where he laid the foundation for his academic pursuits while balancing his personal and professional life. 

“Persistence, dedication and patience are character traits I developed during my academic path,” shared Garcia. "Especially at Crafton Hills College, where I had to balance my married life, my professional career, and my academics. I believe my education and experience at Crafton helped me improve my academic skills, ultimately giving me the confidence to further my education.”

After completing his bachelor's degree at the University of California, Riverside, Garcia attained a Master of Business Administration at the University of Redlands, followed by a law degree from the University of La Verne. 

Garcia's commitment to justice and diversity inspired him to become an attorney and eventually serve as a judge. Recognizing the lack of diversity in the judiciary, he pursued a legal career with a vision to effect positive change in his community.

“I have a passion for the law and justice. I believe I offered a unique and effective balance of passion to serve, passion for the law and passion for justice,” said Garcia. “I believe the diversity of the judiciary should reflect the diversity of the population they serve.”

Beyond his professional achievements, Garcia remains committed to mentoring and inspiring the next generation. 

He has spoken to groups of at-risk and underrepresented high school and middle school students in the Redlands Unified School District and Perris Union High School District about success and his journey to become an attorney. He has also mentored students at the University of Redlands and the University of La Verne College of Law. 

"I intend to continue to motivate and inspire the youth in my community," Garcia expressed. "Our children have been under significant stress and anxiety because of recent societal events, including the pandemic. The mental health of society, and particularly our youth, needs significant attention to ensure a healthy and productive future."

Garcia will be honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award at the CHC Foundation Fundraiser/Gala on Thursday, April 18.