Juan-Pablo Garcia

Juan-Pablo Garcia, Staff Writer

When sophomore Juan-Pablo Garcia isn't playing soccer or exploring the woods near his home, he can be found sorting donations for the American Cancer Society in Walnut Creek, California. When Garcia was 13 and his dad was diagnosed with lymphoma, Garcia knew he wanted to make a difference in other cancer patients' and survivors' lives.

Now, Garcia and his dad spend their weekends sorting, cleaning, and reselling donations, with proceeds going directly to cancer research. "After going through my dad's illness and treatment, I knew that I couldn't sit by and do nothing when so many other kids and families were going through what I went through," said Garcia.

Garcia made countless new connections through his work, and claimed it has "helped him see the world differently" and that he is "much less idealistic now."

Garcia also loves animals, the outdoors, and watching wildlife wander near his home in Lafayette. "We moved 3 years ago from a typical neighborhood to a more secluded property in town," Garcia said, adding that his family decided to move after an experience with noisy neighbors.

"It's much more peaceful, my Uncle has a garden and we get a lot of hikers coming through our property. Plus, it put me into the Campolindo district," he said.

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