If you go to a concert in L.A., chances are Pamela Garcia is somewhere in the crowd with her camera at the ready and a story in her mind. Whether it’s exploring the intricacies of concert culture or broadcasting injustices within the world, Garcia strives to make sure that all stories reach a wide audience.
Pamela Garcia (they/she) is a recent graduate of John H. Francis Polytechnic High School and plans to attend Cal State Northridge in the fall as a journalism major. They were the Editor-in-Chief of their school newspaper the Poly Optimist and part of their school’s broadcasting program Poly10.
Throughout their time as a journalist, a common trend has been evident — they often focus their articles on advocacy and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities.
“I’m always a huge advocate for equality. As a queer person and a person of color, I feel like that’s something that’s really important to have, especially in the media,” Garcia said.
In pursuit of the achievement of advocacy through media, Garcia worked with the Poly10 staff to create segments about the uncertainty of gay rights and the attack on transgender rights in recent years.
Continuing on this trend, Garcia recently wrote an Op-Ed about the demolition of dress codes within schools across the United States. Despite receiving pushback against this article from her school principal, Garcia decided to move forward with its publication. She said her school newspaper was usually moderated by school administration, yet she still continued to support her staff and publish their stories.
“I would want to be remembered for being the person who is never afraid to put something out even though it could be risky … who always made an impact and let everyone speak their truth, someone who always helped people speak up for themselves,” Garcia said.
In addition to their passion for advocacy, another aspect that always remained constant is their creativity. This has manifested through multiple facets of their life such as their hobbies, daily life and even their future career.
“I love going to concerts. You’ll find me at a concert all the time. Other than that, [I love] just taking pictures and posting them on my photography account,” Garcia said. “Also basic interior design, I love messing around with the layout of my room all the time.”
In her free time, Garcia maintains a photography account @cherrycapes on Instagram with posts of concerts she attends as well as pictures of different places she frequents. She also often writes about the arts and their other creative interests, such as concert reviews and covering sports games as a part of the Poly Optimist.
Concerts are evidently an important part of Garcia’s life, especially since it was at a Fall Out Boy concert where they met one of their best friends, Zabel Artinian. Despite not attending the same school or even living in the same area, Artinian and Garcia grew to be close friends, bonding over their mutual love for concerts and the arts.
“[Garcia] always perseveres. If she has something she wants to accomplish, she will accomplish it. She’s such an honest person,” Artinian said. “And she’s a constant in my life.”
Garcia’s perseverance is certainly evident, Artinian said, as her eighth-grade dream of working with the L.A. Times is in some way realized today. Garcia is a summer intern at the L.A. Times HS Insider and plans to continue honing their journalism skills in college. In the future, she plans to delve deeper into multimedia journalism within the entertainment industry, specifically the music scene.
“There’s a bunch of magazines that I would really love to work for as a photographer, writer or editor,” Garcia said. “I would also love to try Op-Ed writing or work in entertainment reporting at the L.A. Times.”
While the concrete details of Garcia’s future are still not solidified, she knows one thing for sure. No matter where life takes her, Garcia believes her creativity and love for advocacy will continue to shine through.