Meet the ENCORE Team!
Senior Vice-President of Educational Programs and Leadership
Dann Garcia joined the Texas Valley Communities Foundation team in 2008 and is currently serves as the Senior Vice-President for Engaging Communities for College Readiness (ENCORE). In this role, he provides extensive expertise to educational organizations and school districts seeking to enhance college readiness efforts in South Texas. Through his educational endeavors, Dann has facilitated training sessions throughout the nation to hundreds of district and school level administrators and teachers. He collaborates with educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and private foundations to further his efforts of ensuring that all students graduate high school fully prepared for post secondary education.
He has also conducted motivational talks to groups of educators and parents emphasizing the importance of college readiness and parental engagement. Dann earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration at the University of Texas Pan American and is currently working on his Master’s of Education in School Administration from Lamar University. He has extensive experience in the classroom as a teacher and has a passion for empowering his community.
Vice-President of Parental Learning Programs
In 2005, Giovanni transferred to the University of Texas Pan American to pursue a Bachelors degree in International Business. While earning his degree, Giovanni served as a Corporate Liaison for the University’s Hispanic Engineering Science and Technology (HESTEC) week.
His main role was to cultivate partners from fortune 500 companies, federal, state and local agencies, media partners and school districts from across South Texas to engage students in STEM for the week-long event. In the summer of 2008, Giovanni left UTPA to participate in a two weeks program on European Business Management Topics in Luneburg, Germany.
Upon returning from Germany, Giovanni embarked on a new endeavor with the Texas Valley Communities Foundation (TVCOF), where he contributed to the launch and administration of the Engaging Communities for College Readiness (ENCORE) program to a level of excellence. Giovanni has been instrumental in developing the infrastructure of ENCORE, and the development and implementation of the Parent Academy for Success of Schools (PASOS) and other educational initiatives of the foundation throughout the Rio Grande Valley, while developing partnerships with national organizations.
Associate Director - MEDITEC Program
Cindy Garrett RN, BSN joined Texas Valley Communities Foundation in June of 2013 after nearly twenty years as a Registered Nurse. Along with nursing, Garrett is TEA Certified to teach Vocation Health Science Technology at the secondary level. While teaching she continued to work in the hospital setting on a part time basis.
As a Registered Nurse, Garrett’s professional experience includes peri-operative nursing, patient education, and she was the Peri-op Team Leader for 3 years. She is a certified CPR instructor. Her passion was mentoring students and new graduate nurses which led her to a career as an educator. Garrett taught secondary Health Science classes at South Texas High School for Health Professions in Mercedes, Texas for 10 years. Her teaching style includes the use of real-world scenarios that incorporate problem-based, critical thinking skills to motivate students to a higher level.
Lead College Mentor
As a first generation American, Hector has always wanted to become his own success story and strive towards helping his community create their own success story. At the age of 12 he entered the GEAR UP program and finally had the additional support to begin his story. The GEAR UP program challenged Hector and molded an insecure student to become a confident leader in the community.
After being in the GEAR UP program for two years Hector gained the confidence to become the president of the Youth Advisory Council and spread the word of College Readiness to his fellow classmates. Through his many experiences as a student, mentor, and young adult Hector has aimed his future in a career in the political field. Hector plans to become mayor of his home town and later become a congressman to continue to be a positive influence in his community through education.