Leyda Garcia
Leyda W. Garcia

Leyda W. Garcia is the proud principal of the UCLA Community School, a university-assisted community school in the heart of Koreatown and Pico-Union. Leyda began her teaching career as a bilingual educator in the San Mateo-Foster City School District and then worked for Montebello Unified School District for over 10 years before beginning her position at the UCLA Community School. Her experience as a Guatemalan-American, first-generation college student informs her approach to education which is grounded in social justice, equity, and access. She is proud of the college enrollment and college persistence data at her site because it showcases the academic potential of all her students. Leyda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Education from Stanford University, as well as a Master of Education degree from UCLA’s Principal Leadership Institute. Ms. Garcia’s research is focused on unaccompanied minors and their capacity to thrive in school, given the right supports. She hopes to collect their stories of resilience and shed light on a most disenfranchised student population.