Neftali Garcia, representing the first generation in his family to attend college, was also a benefactor of the Washington Apple Education Foundation.
Garcia, who recently graduated from Washington State University, returned the favor recently, donating the first check of his career to the foundation.
The WAEF helps children of tree fruit industry workers attend college and get career training, according to a news release.
With two parents who worked in the tree fruit industry, Garcia was eligible for a scholarship.
“They were like, worst case scenario you get only maybe $1,000, so I went and applied and got a scholarship,” Garcia said in the release.
He received a scholarship for his junior and senior years, allowing him to be available for internship opportunities.
“This is more than money. You know, we’re their partners,” Jennifer Witherbee, executive director of the foundation, said in the release. “We want to be able to see them all the way through to graduation, and we want to make sure that when they graduate, they’re ready to land that first career job,”
Garcia decided to give back to the organization so he could help other college students the same way WAEF helped him.
“Just being able to help somebody else really makes me have that feel good feeling, just giving back to something that was there for me this whole time,” Garcia said in the release.