"My mom and dad were always persistent about raising our family to be the best people we could be," said 2011 SJSU commencement participant and men's cross country runner Irvin Garcia.
Garcia's lasting persistence passed on from his parents helped him take the next big step in being the best he can be.
The Lancaster, Calif., native will receive a bachelor's degree in history from San Jose State University, making him the first in his family of five children to earn a college degree.
"After listening to my parents go on for so long about attending college and graduating, I feel relieved that I made it and very happy that I accomplished this."
Persistence has allowed Garcia to succeed in the classroom while developing others passions such as playing music and running.
"I play drums for one band and do vocals for another," said Garcia. "I'll even hit up my teammate Alex (Esparza) to see if he wants to play some guitar."
After transferring from Antelope Valley College, Garcia spent two years on the Spartan cross country team where he committed to running 70-100 miles per week with his team.
Persistence paid off when Garcia tossed the tassel in front of his family and friends as a 2011 San Jose State University graduate.
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