by Kavin Carter, Class of 2018
Providence is a community that is committed to bringing many different students to campus to take advantage of a Christian college education. One of the biggest steps in this direction in recent years has been the incorporation of the athletics program. The program has encouraged diversity among the student body, allowing for new ideas and experiences. One of these athletes is a soccer player named Pablo Garcia.
Pablo “foundation” Garcia is a senior at Providence this year, as well as being one of the founding members of the Providences men’s soccer team. Pablo gained the nickname “foundation” from students on campus after one game where a member of the opposing team ran into him. Where most players would have toppled, Pablo dug his feet in the ground and took the hit, staying exactly where he was and causing the other player to bounce back several feet.
Pablo is also the record holder for the most men’s soccer goals scored in Providence history to date. When asked about his experience with the team he had this to say; “We are young as a school and even younger as a team, but being part of the beginning of a long lasting legacy is a beautiful thing. It’s been a rewarding experience and were starting to see the fruits of our labor; that in itself is amazing”.
Pablo’s favorite part about Providence is learning things he hadn’t know before. “I’ve grown closer to God here than ever before and in ways I haven’t even been
able to understand yet”. He also is grateful to the faculty saying “I couldn’t have made it through my time here without help from professors like Dr. Van Spronsen, Dr. Austin, Prof. Uwarow, Dr. Ryor. and the president, Dr. Belcher. They came alongside me and helped me at times when I was at my lowest, especially when it came to bible classes because there was so much I didn’t know much before coming here”. When asked what his favorite class is he didn’t hesitate to say “Professor Uwarow’s English class has been one of the most inspirational classes I’ve ever had”.
On top of playing soccer, Pablo is working on finishing his education and social science concentrations. His goal after college is to help struggling kids with educational problems thrive and succeed academically. While juggling soccer and academics, Pablo is also a loving and committed father, with one son who he says is “my motivation to do my best in everything I do so I can provide for him”.
Pablo has been playing soccer “since I was standing,” he said, and at the age of four, he started playing for little league teams. “My inspiration to play is my father and my son”. As a child, Pablo didn’t have much by worldly standards. His father was an immigrant from El Salvador who at the age of 16 moved to America and gave up everything for Pablo and his siblings. When he was young growing up was hard, his entire family of five lived in a single bedroom together. “Times were tough back then, but my dad always said no matter how hard things get we stick together because we are a family. My father gave up his dreams and worked hard so that I could achieve my dreams.” said Pablo. Unfortunately, several years ago Pablo’s Father was killed in a trucking accident. Since then before every game Pablo kneels, touches the ground, prays to God, and points to the sky, knowing his father is looking down on him.
Whatever is in store for his future, there is no doubt that Pablo will strive for nothing less than greatness and will strive to glorify God in the process. He and the other founding members of the soccer team are the “foundation” of a program which will continue for many years to come.“When I’m older I’ll be able to tell my son that I had my time, I played college ball while attaining a college education, and that’s something he, my father, and I can all be proud of”.