Beauty in education: Graduate's BGSU Firelands story traces a journey from nursing to nurturing a thriving skincare business while balancing being a mom

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Kasandra Garcia's BGSU degree blends academia with entrepreneurship and achieves her goal of providing an example for her daughters

Kasandra Garcia holding a diploma posing for a photo with her daughter, Gracie
Kasandra Garcia stands with her daughter, Gracie, after a Commencement ceremony in the Stroh Center in Bowling Green.

By Patrick Pfanner 

Kasandra Garcia ‘23 embraced her eldest daughter following the BGSU Fall 2023 Commencement ceremony.

This touching moment symbolized not only her academic achievement but the journey and hurdles overcome to reach the significant milestone. 

Garcia, a post-traditional student, embarked on her academic journey in 2018 at BGSU Firelands, the University's regional campus in Huron, Ohio. Over the years, she successfully earned an Associate of Science and, most recently, a Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies (BTAS), setting the stage to further her entrepreneurial endeavors. 

Garcia chose to enroll with BGSU to build a stronger foundation in the workforce, become a more well-rounded person and pave a pathway for her children. Navigating the challenges of being a student while also supporting her high school daughter's post-secondary classes presented a unique situation.  

"It was a challenge to balance my studies and be present for my children,” Garcia said. “I was able to do it by having wonderful professors to reach out to when needed and the support of my family, including my eldest daughter Gracie, my youngest, Rhoslyn, and fiancé Chad."

Garcia, now a successful small business owner in the skincare industry, credits her BGSU degree for helping her navigate, grow and scale her business. She takes pride in her business, The Rolling Bell Skincare, being Leaping Bunny Certified, the international gold standard for cruelty-free certification. 

Garcia's interest in skincare stems from her work as a dermatology nurse in 2014.

"A bulk of business start-ups stem from prior experience in an industry, and that is certainly a piece of my story, too," Garcia said. "I enjoyed working on the medical side of skin, however, the skincare side is my passion and led me to start my own skincare business in 2020. When I learned of the BTAS degree, I knew it would help me grow."

BTAS program coordinator Michelle Brodke is among the instructors who made a significant impact on Garcia's journey.  

"Kasandra embodies the spirit of determination and resilience that makes teaching at BGSU Firelands truly rewarding,” Brodke said. “Throughout her academic journey, Kasandra demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her studies, balancing the responsibilities of being a parent and a dedicated student. Her engagement and eagerness to learn were evident in every interaction, making her a standout individual in our academic community."

As Garcia looks to grow her business, her story illustrates the transformative power of education, resilience and the unwavering support provided by BGSU. 

"I just want to say thank you to BGSU Firelands for the opportunity to reach my goals while being a working mother and for the wide range of scholarship opportunities that made going back to school more affordable," Garcia said. "My experience helped me become a woman I am more proud of and gave my daughters someone to look up to and know that, no matter what, they can reach their dreams, too.” 

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | | 419-372-6349

Updated: 01/10/2024 02:28PM