San Jac Certified: Mrs. United States reigns in real estate thanks to San Jacinto College
08.12.2015 | By Andrea Vasquez
This July, Katie Garza was crowned Mrs. United States 2015 in Las Vegas. Prior to her national title, she was crowed Mrs. Texas and Mrs. Pearland. Professionally, she is an award-winning new home sales representative who, along with her husband Joshua, graduated from San Jacinto College’s real estate program. Garza says that being San Jac Certified gave her an edge among other job applicants due to the fact that she graduated from an associate degree real estate program.
Garza and her husband entered the San Jacinto College real estate program in 2009 and graduated in 2011. She was hired by Ashton Woods prior to graduating has been an award-winning sales professional ever since. She’s been recognized by Ashton Woods with national training awards, salesperson of the year, and customer service awards, and a professional designation by the Greater Houston Builders Association.
“My clients appreciate that I have my associate degree in real estate,” said Garza. “It adds more value to what I’m doing. They trust my expertise more, knowing that I invested my time in a quality program that gave me a solid professional foundation.”
Garza says that she still stays in contact with some of her San Jacinto College real estate program professors. “The real estate professors were always so helpful. They really stood out. They were never too busy to help us with any questions we had. You knew you were in a quality program. It’s not difficult to get your license, but being in this program at San Jacinto College allows you to get your associate degree, and that’s valuable in itself.”
As the now reigning Mrs. United States, Garza wants to bring awareness to the need for donor breast milk for premature babies through her foundation, Pumping for Preemies, a cause that Garza has experienced with two of her three daughters. The organization brings to light the issue of mothers who are unable to provide breast milk to premature infants, and are therefore are able to request donor milk through the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The donor milk comes from milk banks supplied by mothers who pump extra milk to donate. Pumping for Preemies raises funds to ensure that the families whose babies use the donor milk can do so with no cost to them, regardless of their insurance coverage.
“I hope to bring national awareness to Pumping for Preemies, other national milk donation organizations, and the lives that so many mothers can change by donating milk for these babies,” she said. “As Mrs. United States, I am able to open new opportunities for premature infants nationwide and start a conversation that is long overdue.”
For more information on Pumping for Preemies, visit https://www.facebook.com/pumpforpreemies.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.