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The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Foundation was created to expand awareness of his legacy and the continued relevance of his fight for equal rights for all. Dr. Garcia grew up in a time when discrimination against minorities was not only common, it was expected. Blacks and Hispanics were denied equal access under the law. Schools, hospitals and even graveyards were segregated.
As a leader in LULAC and the American GI Forum, Dr. Hector helped to end segregation in schools, hospitals and public facilities in Texas and nationally. He organized an effort that defeated the oppressive poll tax and led the way to a Hispanic voting majority in South Texas. He fought for fair wages and better working conditions and to bring resources to the colonias, areas along the U.S.-Mexico border that lacked basic services. By organizing the Hispanic vote and voice he brought political power and consequently justice to his people.
Dr. Hector believed in the promise of America and spent a lifetime making the Constitution a living document for every American no matter what their race, ethnicity, or economic status. The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Foundation has been established to continue this work. Our mission includes raising money to provide scholarships to students at the post secondary level, the promotion of civil liberties, the development of effective public service, the advancement of the health and social welfare of the community, and the education and training of leadership that serves the people.
Black and Hispanic Americans still lag in graduation rates from both high school and college. They have higher teenage birth rates, infant mortality rates and shorter life spans. They are incarcerated and live in poverty at higher rates. Not only has the dream of overcoming racism and discrimination not yet been achieved, there are those who actively support a return to institutionalization of new forms of economic segregation and discrimination that denies many citizens of their rights.
Some would say that Dr. Hector's mission has been accomplished, but unfortunately we know that is not true.
This Foundation will honor the legacy of Dr. Garcia by supporting people, projects and actions that will protect the rights of all through the funding of scholarships, educational grants and community building efforts. The Foundation, as Dr. Hector did, will also promote the fair treatment, support and honoring of those who have served our country in the armed forces.
Foundation Board of Directors
We firmly believe that the promotion and protection of civil liberties and the care and support of our Nation's veterans directly leads to a better society.
Cecilia Garcia-Akers, Foundation President
Dr. Hector's daughter, Cecilia, is passionate about and committed to preserving and educating others about the legacy of Dr. Hector and its relevance today. She is an experienced fundraiser and has a strong working relationship with both Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and her alma mater, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, both of which will be involved in the scholarship process. She also provides personal interviews, lectures and other speaking engagements to further Dr. Hector's message.
Phone: (210) 415-5396
Jim Akers, Treasurer
Jim, Cecilia's husband, has a long history of executive management experience including human resources, budgeting, cash flow analysis and strategic planning. Jim is responsible for researching, organizing and disseminating educational information, fact checking website management and assisting with fundraising.
Phone: (210) 508-0824
After more than 20 years at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Steve is now a full-time marketing consultant helping businesses and organizations throughout Texas. He had an outstanding career with the Caller-Times, responsible for assisting with grants and in-kind donations to more than 400 local organizations. Steve oversaw the Caller-Times’ Children’s Christmas Appeal program, the Caller-Times/Citgo Distinguished Scholars program and the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee. He took a small, Caller-Times readers’ poll called “Best of the Best” and turned it into one of the most recognizable brands and one of the biggest community events in the area.
Steve has been an integral part working with civil rights organizations including L.U.L.A.C., the American GI Forum and the NAACP. He has worked on numerous committees to promote educational programs and scholarship funding for minority and economically disadvantaged students. Steve worked closely with the Garcia family to help promote and recognize the historical passage of a State Recognition Day for Dr. Hector P. Garcia.
Steve was one of the founding board members of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Foundation. He is a member of the Del Mar College Foundation Board, serving on the Executive Committee, board member with the American Heart Association and a member of the Rev. E.F. Bennett Scholarship Fund committee.
Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa, Vice President
Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa, Ph.D. is a Graduate of Our Lady of the Lake University with a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies. In addition, she holds an Associates of Arts degree in Education from McLennan Community College, Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas-Pan American, and a Master of Arts in Educational Supervision from the University of Texas-Pan American. Dr. Baggerly-Hinojosa is a resident of Mercedes, TX in the Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Baggerly-Hinojosa has over 20 years experience in education, has held positions such as Classroom Teacher, Dean of Instruction, Campus Principal, Public Information Officer, Parent/Community Specialist, and Director of Migrant Education. Dr. Baggerly-Hinojosa’s experience in education and public service will greatly enhance our Foundation Board.
Nelly Garcia Blow, D.O., Geriatrician
CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital – Shoreline
Dr. Garcia Blow was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. She completed her medical school at the University of North Texas Health Science Center/ Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. She then completed her Family Medicine Residency and Geriatric fellowship at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital -Memorial. Dr. Garcia Blow is board certified in family medicine and geriatrics. She now practices in Corpus Christi providing geriatric consults for older injured patients at CHRISTUS Spohn’s Level II Trauma Center.
Dr. Garcia Blow’s passion is education and improving the lives of our coastal bend communities. She serves on the American Heart Association and is the chair of Hypertension Collaborative aimed at improving blood pressure control in our area. Dr. Garcia Blow also serves as the chair of the medical subcommittee for the Nueces County Opioid Taskforce which is focused on education, prevention, and intervention to tackle the opioid crisis that has affected our area as well as the entire nation.
Barbara Canales, Secretary
Barbara Canales was born and raised in Corpus Christi, TX. She is the great niece of Dr. Hector P. Garcia. She graduated from Ray High School as valedictorian,and earned a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin. Barbara received her Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1989, and Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Houston in 1992. In 2004, Barbara formed Canales Exploration LLC, a gas and oil exploration company. Barbara has served on multiple boards including the Development Board of the University of Texas Austin, Texas A&M Corpus Christi Foundation Board, Texas State Aquarium Board, South Texas Institute of Arts, and the Corpus Christi Port Authority. The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Foundation is honored to have Ms. Canales as a Board member.
Mr. Elizondo has proven himself a valued leader in the Corpus Christi community with professional accomplishments such as successfully managing over $668 million of public funds, and maintaining an outstanding record while serving the largest employer in Corpus Christi. Larry is an adept negotiator and critical thinker, and has extensive knowledge of industry and government regulations. These skills have allowed Larry to serve the citizens of Corpus Christi in many capacities including serving on a number of boards for organizations such as the Coastal Bend Community Blood Center, the American Heart Association, the Del Mar College Foundation and many others.
The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Foundation is honored to have Larry serve on its Board of Directors.
Moses Estrada is a graduate of Robstown High School and attended Del Mar College. He proudly served his country in the US Army and worked for Southwestern Bell until his retirement. He owned and operated a real estate office in Kingsville for twenty years and presently is a real estate investor. He has actively served his community by participating in several organizations including the Dr. Hector P. Garcia AGIF of South Texas and is the Commander of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Founders Chapter. Under his leadership, the organization is in its fifth year of awarding scholarships to high school seniors and veterans in Nueces County. Moses is a co-organizer of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia State Holiday celebration in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Mark Roach was born in Corpus Christi, TX and graduated from Aransas Pass High School, and Texas A&M University-College Station with a degree in Accounting in 1975.
He was a founding charter member of Coastal National Bank in Aransas Pass, and served as a founding director from 1982-1990. In addition, Mark served as the Municipal Court Judge in Aransas Pass and was on the bench from 1992 to 1995. In 1995, he opened a branch location for Dealers Electrical Supply in Corpus Christi.
Mark has extensive civic experiences that include a former member of the Lion’s Club in Aransas Pass, and as a former Religious Education instructor for 15 years at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Aransas Pass. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas (Austin), the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation Electrical Advisory Board (Austin), the Board of Directors of Associated Builders and Contractors-Texas Coastal Bend Chapter in Corpus Christi and on the Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Portland.