Spotlight: Gaby Garcia-Figueroa '23

Gaby Garcia-Figueroa '23

Photo by Marco Calderon

First-generation undergrad paying it forward.

Gaby Garcia-Figueroa ’23 is a business student with heart.

Gaby Garcia-Figueroa ’23 is majoring in supply chain management and minoring in sociology. “Business is teaching me to be competitive‚” Garcia-Figueroa says. “Sociology humbles me.”

Garcia-Figueroa is a first-generation student. She grew up in St. Louis‚ Missouri with three brothers. Her mom and dad immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. “I’ve seen my parents struggle financially‚” remembers Garcia-Figueroa. “They had to figure out how to pay all the bills and make sure their four children had clothes and whatever else they needed to get through school.”

Garcia-Figueroa chose Lehigh Business because she felt it put her in the best position to build a comfortable life and do good. She says her parents taught her not to be selfish. If you see someone struggling‚ help them‚ she says they told her.

To that end‚ Garcia-Figueroa is paying it forward as a mentor for F1RST+ students—first generation‚ low income or underrepresented minority students—as part of the Lehigh University Student Scholars Institute. She was a mentee her freshman year and also president of the First-Generation club.

She knows she wants to be involved in some aspect of supply chain‚ international business and nonprofits.

“I want to be part of an organization that helps communities around them‚” says Garcia-Figueroa.

“I just have to figure out how to put this all into one job title.”