Maria Garcia-Hidalgo is a trailblazer—at heart and by nature—who strives to help others pursue their dreams and passions. With more than 15 years of combined experience in business, teaching, education and coaching, she knew her calling and desire to help others was greater. Now, she finds fulfillment in blazing new trails to help students discover their path as future educators through the Pride Pathway alternative teacher certification program.
A Conversation with Maria
What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?
Join the A&M-Commerce family! We’re excited to help you find your roots in a place where you can discover your dreams and purpose while living in a place with unlimited potential. You can find a variety of programs from engineering to education, business to criminal justice, and more. You can grow here and be part of the Lion family and the A&M-Commerce alumni network. Go Lions!
What is an important life lesson you have learned?
Life and death are in the power of the tongue. As a mother of three beautiful kids, I have learned that words have incredible depth and power. What you say and how you say it have power and authority in your environment. What do you believe about yourself? How do you speak to yourself? Would you speak to your best friend like that? Be mindful of what you say and how you say it. You are your biggest cheerleader or biggest enemy.
How have your experiences helped you prepare for your current role as an advisor?
My experiences as a special education teacher and an advisor in a collections call center have helped me learn the importance of listening to students and building relationships. Success comes from getting to know people and learning to best serve them in their dreams and future success as educators.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
My free time is devoted to my children and church. I also volunteer for a women’s ministry and recently became a certified life coach. I enjoy pursuing my dreams through service to God and my family.
What is your favorite spot in Commerce? Why?
I love reading in front of Waters Library and discovering more places around campus while witnessing the unlimited opportunities offered through A&M-Commerce.
Who are your role models?
I have many role models, including Suzy Moffatt, a former educator who unknowingly poured into me as a child before we truly met as adults at church. The relationship has come full circle as I have met several others who have impacted me, including Misty Westlund, Ruby Lay and Carrie Nuckolls. Another strong influence has been my friend and pastor, Crystal Sparks, who has been with me in my darkest moments and aided my walk with God.