Dr. Martha Garcia Inspires Others with Commitment, Vision, Determination

College of the Desert’s Superintendent/President Martha Garcia, Ed.D., received the Rising Star Award from Palm Springs Life for her extraordinary accomplishments and dedication to bettering the community. 

Each year, the publication recognizes outstanding women in the Coachella Valley as part of the Women Who Lead awards. The recipients will be featured in the magazine’s May issue and were celebrated at a ceremony that took place on May 25. 

Dr. Garcia’s motivation stems from her life experience and the belief that education transforms lives. She is committed to helping people overcome hardships that prevent them from pursuing higher education.

“I’m driven every day by the idea that everyone deserves access to education and a chance to achieve their dreams,” Dr. Garcia said. “I know first-hand how life challenges can get in the way. By simply caring for the well-being of others, we can make a substantial difference, not only for individuals, but for our community.”

Also recognized as Women Who Lead 2022 are nonprofit executive Leticia De Lara, CEO at Regional Access Project Foundation, and business leader and entrepreneur Tara Lazar, founder of F10 Creative. The women are being recognized for making a daily, meaningful impact on the people they serve. 

Prior to coming to College of the Desert in August 2021, Dr. Garcia spearheaded an innovative award-winning housing project in El Centro for homeless students while she was president at Imperial Valley College. She continues to lead by her values of perseverance, hard work, honesty and helping others at College of the Desert. She is shaping and guiding programs and resources that expand educational access across the Coachella Valley. 

The Women Who Lead 2022 luncheon featured keynote speaker Suzanne Somers, an entertainer, entrepreneur and 45-year Palm Springs resident, who virtually discussed the theme “Pursue your passions.” 

Read the Palm Springs Life article featuring Dr. Garcia and the other award recipients at www.palmspringslife.com/women-who-lead-palm-springs-2022