Aldo Garcia, senior criminology, law and society major, owns his own lifting/boxing gym that he plans to use to help at risk youth.
In May 2017, Garcia opened Amviares Boxing Academy in Mt. Pleasant. The gym is open to people of all ages and offers boxing classes for adults and children who are new to the sport.
Garcia is deeply interested in fitness and boxing. His grandfather and several of his uncles were professional boxers. Garcia’s father introduced him to boxing at a very young age and he’s trained ever since.
Opening his own gym was always a goal of Garcia’s.
“It’s been my dream for my whole life. I saved up money and was finally able to make my dream come true. It’s rewarding to have my own gym and have somewhere where I can train whenever I want,” Garcia said.
But the reward Garcia did not foresee was the effect the gym had on the community.
“All types of people go there and it feels really good to see people building
friendships. They are bonding over a love of boxing, and seeing people generate the same passion I have for the sport is one of the most rewarding things I could ever experience,” Garcia said.
Garcia explained that the hardest thing about opening up the gym was finding time to work on it while being a full time student and working to earn money. He also gave up the chance to attend his dream school, Michigan State University.
“I got accepted into Michigan but I had a choice to make. I could have gone there and had the traditional big school experience, or I could have stayed close to home and work like a horse to save money for my gym. I definitely made the right decision. I was able to make my dream come true and I fell in love with SVC along the way,” Garcia said.
Garcia will graduate from Saint Vincent in December. He has been accepted into the master of science in criminology program for 2018. Afterwards, he hopes to use his gym to start a community involvement program to coach at-risk youth.
Dr. Eric Kocian, associate professor of criminology, expressed his confidence in Garcia.
“Aldo Garcia is a solid person. He is someone I have learned to trust and admire for the manner in which he conducts himself in and out of class. When a Drug Detective friend of mine had three suspects in custody following a big drug bust, he called me to see if I knew of someone who could help the state police and county detectives interview them because they needed a Spanish translator. I immediately gave them Aldo’s information (because I knew he was bilingual) and Aldo was called to help interview the three suspects. Aldo spent hours with them and helped build the case for the investigators,” Kocian said.
Kocian spoke highly of Garcia.
“Aldo has always been more mature and reliable than most people I have known and he is a quiet force for good that this discipline needs. I am comforted that he has chosen to use his many skills and talents in a field I have a great devotion to and interest in and know he is bound for success,” said Kocian.
Outside of boxing, Garcia enjoys photography, volunteering with Bearcat B.E.S.T. and spending time with his German shepherd puppies.
Photos: Amviares Boxing Academy Facebook