by Samantha Edwards

Driven by Compassion

Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) senior Ashley Garcia is involved in many areas of her 92131 community. At SRHS, Ashley is a member of the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation, and serves as the founder and co-vice president of the Homeless Outreach Club. Her favorite subject in school is science – biology and physiology in particular. She has also taken on various volunteer projects throughout her high school career, most of which align with her dream of becoming a nurse. Ashley is currently an intern at Palomar Medical Center through the Palomar Pathmaker Internship Program, which gives her the opportunity to gain knowledge through hands-on experience by doing things like taking patient vitals, ambulating and feeding patients, working telemetry systems, and registering patients. “My favorite part of the job is connecting with patients and providing compassion during a difficult time,” Ashley said. She has also volunteered at Sharp Mary Birch and Sharp Memorial Hospitals and Helen Woodward Animal Center. Center.

“I am grateful for these hardships because they exposed me to a meaningful career in which I can give back to the industry that has given so much to me.”

Ashley has always been drawn to nursing, in part because she has spent much of her life in hospitals as a result of her own kidney disease and scoliosis. In July 2016, Ashley underwent a major spinal fusion surgery to correct her scoliosis. She spent a week in the hospital and emergency room, and another year re-learning to walk, sit, and maneuver her new body. “This surgery uncovered an inner strength within myself and has allowed me to gain the first-hand experience of a patient,” she shared. In addition to surgery, Ashley has also endured treatments such as steroid infusions and chemotherapy for her ailments. “I am grateful for these hardships because they exposed me to a meaningful career in which I can give back to the industry that has given so much to me.”

With a healed spine and a newfound sense of purpose, Ashley is focusing on enjoying her senior year and looking towards the future. Her hobbies include yoga, hiking, swimming, and paddle boarding. She is also currently in the process of deciding which college to attend in the fall – UCLA or SDSU, where she was accepted into both highly competitive nursing programs. Whichever path she chooses, this driven and compassionate Student Star is sure to make a positive mark on the nursing community and beyond.


Name: Ashley Garcia (17)
School: Scripps Ranch High School
Grade: 12
Parents: Angela and Paul Garcia
Sibling: Chase (19)
Favorite Local Spots: Luna Grill, Yogurt Heaven, the park

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