Kristina Garcia won the LeRay Collins alumni award for her acting roles
By the time Kristina Garcia started performing with the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind’s Dance Troupe in high school, she knew the stage was where she could prove to herself and others that nothing can hold her back.
Graduating from St. Johns River State College’s Florida School of the Arts last summer with her associate degree in acting, she was nominated by the college, and won, in one of four categories comprising the LeRoy Collins Distinguished Alumni Awards, bestowed by the Association of Florida Colleges.
Garcia was presented with the Against the Odds award, recognizing her success at FloArts despite the challenges of being a deaf student with speaking roles on stage. Criteria for the Against the Odds award include demonstrating the impact of the nominee’s college experience and the nominee’s success despite adversities.
“I forced myself to not think of my disability as a weakness, but as a strength,” Garcia wrote in an email to The Record. “Growing up in a deaf community, I’ve noticed that a lot of us struggled to reach our goal in life because society told us that we can’t make it because of our disability and we accepted it. I don’t want to accept it. I know we can do better.”