Wednesday, January 17, 2018

LA Story

By Alonso Nichols

Freshman Leiny Garcia talks about independence, her passion for school and the importance of family

In the slideshow above, hear Leiny Garcia, E14, talk about coming to Tufts. Photos and slideshow by Alonso Nichols

Halfway into their first semester, the Class of 2014 is settling in at Tufts, making friends and adjusting to life on campus.

As a way to share their stories, five freshmen are letting the Tufts community take an inside look at their pre-Tufts lives and what was running through their minds before they came to campus from as far away as San Diego and as near as Lexington, Mass.

Leiny Garcia came to Tufts from a neighborhood just outside of downtown Los Angeles, Calif. She has always lived in the same apartment building, where her parents, younger brother and a large extended family network form a close-knit community. Coming all the way to Medford was an attractive but difficult choice for Leiny, a first-generation college student whose parents wanted her to attend a school closer to home and the family network.

“They wanted me to stay in California, but I convinced them that going to Tufts was better,” says Garcia. “Even though I love my family so much, I need my independence. It is going to be hard because I have always lived my life with them, with my grandma and my cousins, but it is going to be good for me.”

Her decision was solidified after attending April Open House and hearing Kim Knox, associate dean of undergraduate education at the School of Engineering, speak to prospective students and parents about studying engineering at Tufts. The enthusiasm, warmth and support that Leiny heard made her confident that Tufts was the place for her.

See the first two stories in our Class of 2014 series, about Michelle Doyle from San Diego and Daryan J. Barnes from Memphis.

Alonso Nichols can be reached at

Posted November 03, 2010