A Word from Leyri
A Decade of Volunteering, Becoming a Leader and Cherishing Every Moment
Name: Leyri Garcia
Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Relationship to VISIONS: Community Volunteer since 2010 and Program Leader since 2015
Tell us a bit about your family and your personal life in this place.
Hello my name is Leyri Garcia, and I’m from the Dominican Republic. I live with my mother, father, sister and nephew. I’ve always enjoyed art. Growing up I was really into drawing and painting, but I always wanted to capture the world and candid moments in a different way. Naturally, I was drawn to photography! Today, I enjoy taking photos of people, landscapes, and almost anything really.
What does the word community mean to you?
The word community for me means being surrounded by a group of people that loves, understands, supports, and helps each other. A community is a group that lives in harmony like brothers and sisters and is always willing to face challenges that may arise.
How did you first get involved with VISIONS?
I began with VISIONS as a volunteer back in 2010. I had just started to learn English so it was a good opportunity to practice with the participants, but also a good opportunity to be helpful to those in need. My willingness to help made it easy to jump in whenever I was needed!
What was one of the most memorable times during your VISIONS experience?
One of the most memorable moments was back in 2013, when I was still volunteering. One of the participants asked me a question that only the staff members could answer. When I said they’d have to ask the staff, the participant responded “but I thought you were one of the staff!” In that moment, I realized that I was growing and becoming a role model. I realized that I had to set a good example, not just for younger people but to anyone I came in contact with. That very moment made me strive to be a better person everyday.
What has the VISIONS experience taught you about yourself?
Through my experience with VISIONS I’ve learned that I don’t just want to stay in one place. I’ve learned that I like the feeling of freedom to do whatever I want in life. I’ve learned that you can learn something from each person you meet, and that being present in the now is one of the most important things. Life is full of moments that we should take advantage of because we may never experience them again.
What do you feel makes VISIONS special or unique?
I think the uniqueness of VISIONS comes from how much can be learned from people and community. Living and working with people from other places is an incredible opportunity to get to know yourself and find your purpose in life.
What do you feel is one of your greatest strengths that you have to offer the world?
I think the best thing I have to offer to the world is the ability to understand people and situations, and therefore be able to help them. I believe a lot of the disagreement and issues with people nowadays is because, like Stephen R. Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
What would you like to be remembered for?
I’d like to be remembered as someone who gave the best of himself to the world without expecting anything in return.
What would you like to say to other members of the VISIONS community?
For the members of the VISIONS Community, I’d like to say that you’re all part of a positive impact and a change in many people’s lives — which is the most rewarding feeling one can have in life! Always go after what you want and what you believe in. Like Steve Jobs said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Do you have a VISIONS Story?
Fill out an interview for our Spotlight Series or submit a story of your own format or creative expression.