Criminal justice grad supported fellow Sun Devils through TRIO

September 3, 2021

ASU grad Rogelio Garcia spent his last three years at ASU helping to uplift students as a tutor for the TRIO program. This program helps first-generation, low-income, disabled or veteran students succeed in higher education. 

Rogelio Garcia in his ASU graduation gown and TRIO stole

ASU grad Rogelio Garcia

Garcia, who is also a member of TRIO himself, graduated in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology.  The Maryvale native initially began to work for the TRIO program as a tutor, before ever considering applying for it as a student. 

“I knew some people who were already in the program, and they’re the ones who recommended I be a tutor. Once I became a tutor, I started talking to more people, and that’s how I got involved with being a student and student worker,” Garcia said. 

Garcia also said that this position has helped him grow and prepare for a professional career. 

“One of the most rewarding things is getting to know the other student workers. You get to form a lot of friendships and you can participate in events together. You can see students who you help go off and graduate, so that’s pretty rewarding as well,” Garcia said.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: It was when I was first applying to ASU. I met someone who was in the same program and they were talking about the program and the classes, and I think that’s what made me want to go into this field. 

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: Being in the major of criminal justice, you learn a lot about the prison system, and I learned a lot about how the system actually works, all the faults it has and what we can do to make it work better. 

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because it was in-state but also because I knew some people here and it seemed that there were really good classes, professors and engagement

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Professor Ken Pomeranz taught us that even though it’s a tough field with the work and everything you have to do, it’s good to remember to still have fun and keep your personal life going aside from your professional work. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: You have to enjoy your major, and you have to look forward to the work you’re going to do after you graduate. Just keep pushing through the work and it’ll be worth it. 

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life? 

A: On the Downtown Campus, the law building. I like the area outside of it in between both buildings where the bridges are on top. That’s my area. 

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I think that I am going to take a year off and explore different career options. After a year I might go into my master’s program. 

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would tackle either homelessness or drug abuse. Those are two big topics, especially in this country, that could use some help.