After moving to the U.S sixteen years ago from Mexico City, Ivan Garcia embarked on his educational journey at Everett Middle School and then continued on to John O’ Connell High School in San Francisco. Following graduation, Ivan attended a private university, Maharishi University of Management (MUM), to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science before switching his major to  Business Management. At MUM, Ivan was the student body president and a resident advisor. He also interned at Lloyd, a firm in San Francisco, that granted him the opportunity to build his skills by shadowing the business management floor. Ivan earned his BSBM in 2016.

First Graduate® IMPACT

Ivan was part of the First Graduate® cohort six. He recalls his time at FG as community-driven and remains forever grateful for the support and encouragement the program provided. It introduced him to role models and mentors, whose emotional backing and positive reinforcements were inspiring and crucial to his success. He especially appreciates the college retreats during his senior year. They allowed him to explore and enjoy the different campuses while he worked with his peers on college personal statements. Ivan states that this experience was very reflective and one of the happiest moments from his time at the FG program.


Ivan is currently a manager at Promise Scholar, a scholarship program funded by Caerus. He plans to further his education in the near future with a master’s degree in sports science or psychology. In pondering his success, Ivan credits curiosity and inquisitiveness as his biggest assets. He explains that in order to learn and grow, curiosity is essential in gaining information and knowledge.


Ivan advises students to prepare well beforehand for college interviews. They can do so by watching online videos of interviews, participating in mock interviews, and practicing with a partner. He strongly believes that it is important for students to be their authentic selves rather than portray a “picture perfect” student. When waiting to hear back, they must be patient with the process and own their stories. Ivan stresses that there is no “written instruction” on how to get an A and that colleges are more impressed by a student’s sense of identity and vision as a contributor to the community.

Author: Uzma Gowher and Rafaelito Sy.

Be part of our community in social media!

Stay Connected

More Updates

First Graduate’s Alumni: Beating the Odds

All of this support-driven success is only possible because of the contributions from our donors. That’s why we’re offering you the opportunity to support our generation-changing organization with donations to our end-of-fiscal year campaign. Our goal is to raise $20,000 by the end of this month to sustain the positive impact we have on our First Graduate® students in a way that changes their lives forever.
Donate here!

Cap & Gown

To Everyone Who Attended Cap & Gown 2023: Thank You!

As we celebrate our newest graduates, remember that first-generation students can move from sixth grade through college graduation and into meaningful careers because of you and your support! And we couldn’t do it without the help of our corporate supporters: Hamilton Zanze, Dodge & Cox, Accenture, Adobe, KPMG, BSSP, Millennium Career Advantage, and GoodRx.

Ramadan Mubarak!

Despite how difficult they can be to get, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of scholarships. Especially for a first-generation student, a scholarship can be the difference between being able to go to college and not.