In the early hours of Monday, October 19, sophomore Bryan Garcia passed away after collapsing on campus earlier that week and falling into a coma. The news of Bryan’s death, a beloved member of the AVID family and cherished friend, devastated our Argo family.
“It saddens me that we’ve lost another member of our program family. Bryan was a very polite and kind young man. As a freshman, Bryan was in my AVID class and over the last year we had the opportunity to discuss his academic progress and goals,” says Mr. Luong, Bryan’s 9th grade AVID teacher. “It’s upsetting to know that I will not see Bryan complete his course to be a college-bound young man. I want to express my deepest condolences to Bryan’s family as I can’t imagine the pain and grief that they are currently experiencing. Bryan will be missed, and may he rest in peace.”
A memorial service was held for Bryan the morning of October 31 at St. Columban’s Church, where those in attendance were encouraged to wear white in honor of Bryan. Many students and teachers joined Bryan’s family to honor his memory and the impact he had on their lives.
Bryan’s two younger sisters, Mary and Naomy, both gave a short speech about Bryan, thanking him for being such a wonderful brother and presence in their lives and telling him how much they would miss him. Everyone joined together to pray for Bryan, celebrate his life, and comfort each other in their grief. Despite the sadness, the positive impact Bryan left on everyone’s lives could still be felt that day.
“He was really funny and smart. I miss his jokes,” says Omar Aguilar (10), one of Bryan’s friends. “I remember one time we ran the mile together and he grabbed a broom and called himself the wicked witch of the west.”
Marco Alday (10), another of Bryan’s friends, adds, “Bryan was a rather fun kid to be around. Even though he was really shy, he was still awesome. He was a lovely friend and everyone who knew him will miss him dearly.”
After the conclusion of the service, everyone in attendance gathered together outside to give their condolences to Bryan’s family and comfort each other. The support and love was overwhelming as everyone came together, whether they were a relative or a student who had been in a class with Bryan, to honor him. The kindness shown that day provided a light in the darkness for someone who had always been a light to everyone in his life.
“One thing that really stuck out to me just from today was when the priest said, ‘Be an instrument of peace.’ Maybe that’s one takeaway from this bad experience, that we should all learn to be instruments of peace.” Mr. Osborne says. “That’s what Bryan was.”