Joey Garica '90 (Journalism)

Advice columnist on a mission

Joey Garcia

For Sacramento-area readers the name Joey Garcia calls to mind straight forward advice on everything from parenting to office politics, even sex addiction.

But many do not know that the Sacramento News & Review’s “Ask Joey” advice columnist is also a high school teacher on a mission to eradicate poverty in her home country of Belize.

Born in the small Caribbean nation and now a naturalized American citizen, Garcia grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Four years ago she established the nonprofit educational charity Rise Up Belize. The program offers free weeklong summer professional development courses in Belize to 100 teachers, and free summer camps to 100 Belizean students, each year.

“Without a good education they can’t really rise up out of poverty,” says Garcia, who teaches theology classes at Sacramento’s St. Francis High School.

Garcia hopes her program encourages more Belizean children to attend school in a country where, because of poverty and expensive tuition, only 50 percent of school-age children attend elementary school, with a mere 30 percent completing it.

In partnership with the Sacramento Area Reading Association, Rise Up Belize provides students with non-fiction and fiction books, and free backpacks filled with school supplies. Students are also invited to participate in an essay contest where they can win cash prizes.

While at Sac State Garcia wrote for The State Hornet and was an Associated Students vice president in 1985. Since graduating, Garcia has worked in all areas of media. She has been a reporter and anchor for several radio stations in the Bay Area, worked in public relations in Davis and Sacramento, and as a freelancer, has written for Sacramento Magazine, The Sacramento Bee’s Neighbors section, the Children’s Advocate, and Government Technology magazine. She also worked a stint as a producer for CBS 13 News.

Her column “Ask Joey” appears weekly in the Sacramento News & Review. And she can be heard giving relationship advice Monday mornings on V101.1 FM during the Lee and Andrea Morning Show.

“I like to be a little silly sometimes so we can all see that issues in romantic relationships are not the end of the world, especially compared to them extreme poverty and physical suffering that exists in the world,” she says.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2007 edition of Sac State Magazine.