I am a native speaker of Spanish, raised in East Los Angeles, California, by Mexican immigrant parents.
After obtaining my BA in Spanish from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, I married, and had three children. I volunteered in my children's schools for ten years, while they were young and my husband traveled for work. I worked as a bilingual teacher in Los Angeles for the first 6 months of my marriage, and for 16 years in Santa Ana Unified School District, after my children were grade school. I served there as a bilingual teacher, resource teacher, assistant prinicpal, professional development coordinator, and director of the Santa Ana bilingual/ESL programs. During that time I also obtained my MAT in Spanish from UC Irvine, and an Administrative Services Credential.
In 1992 I was accepted into the Ph.D. program in the Education Dept. of Stanford University, and was selected to be a team member of a National Science Foundation Grant- California Science Implementation Program. I completed my studies and my dissertation in four years, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. My dissertation was a finalist in the National Bilingual Education Association competition for "Outstanding Dissertation".
While at Stanford I was recruited by my brother's Market Research firm, Garcia Research Associates (GRA), to conduct focus groups for the California Dept. of Health. I also took several courses related to conducting qualitative research. During my sojourn at Stanford, I worked on various market research projects for GRA, and found that I enjoyed the work immensely. Mainly, I relished the opportunity to both help clients to better understand Latino's motivations, and also to give Latinos a voice.
In 2000 I launched my own business, as a sole proprietor, and gradually grew my client base to include AT&T, Planned Parenthood, Disney, Warner Bros., Proctor & Gamble, Frito Lay, Sierra Club, Obama '08, American Diabetes Association, U.S. Navy, etc.
I have also worked as an editor for children's TV programs- Disney's Handy Manny, and the Sprouts Program for preschoolers.
A more complete market research "bio" and a list of references is available upon request.
As for accolades, most of my clients have commended my work verbally. I am also most proud of my three children, who graduated from Princeton, Stanford and Harvard. They now have excellent careers: a lawyer working in Biz Dev for a San Francisco start-up, a physician working as a Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Blue Shield/Blue Cross of New Mexico, and a banker for Wells Fargo, working in online banking.