Guevara fulfills his parents’ dream
Years before Mark Guevara was born, his parents fled the instability and poor economy of Honduras to build a new life in the United States.
It was a difficult decision, as the couple had to leave behind three young sons with their grandmother. They moved to the Atlanta area, rented a single room in an apartment and began working long hours. They sent money home to support their children, with whom they always thought they would reunite.
But due to the expense and difficulties of travel, the family separation became more permanent, and the years went by. Guevara and his younger brother were born in the United States, and the family has never been fully reunited. Fortunately, the internet made communications convenient. While Guevara had never met his older brothers until he visited Honduras at 17, he was already very familiar with them.
“My family’s story is similar to that of many immigrant families,” he said. “My parents made the difficult choice to leave the only home they had ever known to give their family a better future. The dream that drove me to seek a higher education is my parents’ dream.”
Guevara described himself as a quiet, introverted commuter student who started his college career at Georgia Gwinnett with a mundane routine of going to class, doing homework and going home every day.
“But then, GGC’s culture took hold,” he said. “At this college, we are not just a number or a statistic, but part of a growing family. GGC’s culture was the spark that led to my personal development.”
Soon, the introvert grew into a confident student leader.
As president of the Organization of Latin American Students, he led efforts to engage its members in issues advocacy and legislative involvement, and to host the organization’s 10th anniversary reunion.
Guevara also served as a Student Government Association senator for the School of Science and Technology, as director of community service for the Association of Latino Professionals for America, and as a student member of the college’s Mentoring Re-imagined Committee.
He worked in the Office of Student Involvement as a student engagement specialist, and played a key role in the Grizzly community’s efforts to provide assistance and supplies to tornado victims in Albany.
Despite his busy schedule, Guevara consistently appeared on the President’s List and earned membership in Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the national honor association for information technology students. He graduated in December 2017 with honors and served as his class’ graduate speaker.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer,” he said to his classmates during the fall semester’s commencement ceremony.
Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.” He encouraged his fellow graduates to continue dreaming big, fill themselves with ambition and maintain their resilience.
“Be that spark that will set your destiny in motion,” he said.
Guevara’s graduation from GGC was a special day for his family. His parents and younger brother were joined in the audience by two of his older brothers and his grandmother from Honduras. It was the first time in 20 years so many members of his immediate family had been together.
“We were still missing my brother, Marvin, who watched the ceremony’s live feed from Honduras,” Guevara said. “We look forward to the day we will all be together, but on that special day, I was able to fulfill my parents’ dream by earning my degree.”
Today, Guevara works at a local IT company in Duluth, Ga. The company has provided valuable internship experiences for many Georgia Gwinnett students. Guevara’s own internship there last summer led to a full-time position as a desktop support technician.
Before graduating, Guevara had already begun applying the leadership skills he developed at Georgia Gwinnett to his service to the broader community.
He is co-founder and chair of the Latin American Association’s Latino College Leadership Alliance, which seeks to empower Latino college students and young professionals through leadership development and civic engagement, developing leaders to serve as role models for the younger generation.
“Although I just recently graduated, I have already realized that learning does not stop with a college degree,” Guevara said. “There are no limits to what I can learn and accomplish, and that is a beautiful thing.”