Celeste Garcia

Born and raised in Chicago Heights, Illinois, Celeste is a first generation student of Mexican heritage. Currently, she attends the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in Professional Writing. Her career interests include scientific journalism and psychiatry.

In 2013, Celeste earned an associate’s degree in Biological Sciences from Prairie State College. Upon graduation, she became the first in her family to obtain a college degree and received the President’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Leadership. Her passion for education and empowering students has led her to take on several leadership roles, such as Vice President of the Student Government, student representative for the President’s Advisory Council, STEM tutoring leader, and President of the All Latin Alliance, where she helped start a scholarship fund for undocumented students.

In STEM, Celeste has previously taken on a research project which entailed identifying antimicrobial activity in soil microbes. The project was presented at the annual STEM Poster Competition of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference, where her research team placed third in the division of biology.

This past February, Celeste was one of twenty Latino students in the nation to be awarded the Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr. Scholarship for Young Hispanic Leaders, presented by the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute.