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Essay Winner and Future Astrophysicist Shares Personal Story of Persistence

Future astrophysicist Krista Garrie recently shared how her Lone Star College-CyFair experience is the cornerstone in which she is building a future and is aiding her in becoming the best version of herself.

Krista Garrie wins essay awardGarrie, along with five other Lone Star College System student essay winners, inspired guests with their stories of “How My Community College Experience Changed My Life,” which were shared at the Lone Star College Foundation’s 23rd annual Chancellor’s Breakfast.

“Krista is a well-deserving winner,” said Education 1300 Professor Gail Marxhausen. “She has worked hard to overcome her obstacles to even attend college, and her motivation, determination and passion for her education will serve her well as she accomplishes the goals she has set for herself.”

As a young girl, Garrie dreamed of being an astronaut and traded Barbie dolls for telescopes.  Despite turbulent circumstances as a teenager - working full-time, being homeless for a brief time and getting pregnant - she managed to barely graduate high school on time.  However, her plans for college were put on hold for more than a decade. After a failed marriage, as a newly-single mother of two daughters, she moved to Houston to start fresh, only to struggle in survival mode.  When her van broke, she lost her job and townhome and made a heartbreaking decision to move her children in with her parents.

Garrie didn’t give up and in 2012 life began changing for the better.  Marrying Matthew, having a third daughter and getting her family back together reinvigorated her and 13 years post-graduation, along with her husband’s support, it was finally time to return to school to pursue her degree in astrophysics.

“Since I began attending classes in 2015, my professors online and on campus have been invariably supportive on matters pertaining to the classroom and my education in general,” she said.  “The fact that someone believes in me enough to entrust me with an investment in my education has only further driven me to strive for achievement, and has endowed me with soaring self-confidence.”

With a 4.0, she’s on track to finish her Associate of Science degree at LSC-CyFair and graduate with honors by 2017.  She plans to transfer to the University of Houston to pursue her Bachelor’s of Physics with honors, intern for a summer at NASA and then apply to Rice University in pursuit of her master’s and PhD in astrophysics. 

Her career goal is to become a researcher with NASA or another private space exploration company.

“I am applying everything I have learned at LSC-CyFair to life skills as well.  I am now more organized, a better reader, a more apt teacher with my children’s homework, and even a more patient mother, all due to my time here at LSC,” she said.  “Though it is only the beginning, LSC-CyFair is the light on my new horizon.”

Receiving a $1,000 scholarship from the LSC Foundation and representing each of the six LSCS colleges were Garrie from LSC-CyFair, Ariana Velazco from LSC-Kingwood, Jeremy Martinez from LSC-Montgomery, Eric Thompson from LSC-North Harris, Gerald Hallford from LSC-Tomball, and Jesse Rodriguez from LSC-University Park.

These scholarships are made possible due to the generosity of LSC Foundation donors and supporters. The LSC Foundation manages assets of $22 million, with $13 million permanently endowed.

For information on other foundation events, go to LoneStarCollegeFoundation.org. For information on LSC-CyFair, go to LoneStar.edu/Cyfair.