Alumnae Spotlight: Andrea Jimenez Garcia | Trafalgar Castle School
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June 19, 2024

Alumnae Spotlight: Andrea Jimenez Garcia

Melissa Nowakowski

Be Bold and Follow Your Dreams


Trafalgar Castle alumna Andrea Jimenez Garcia is a Staff Research Associate at the University of California, Los Angeles(UCLA) Department of Medicine and describes her time at the school as the best year of her life. As a boarding student from Mexico, Andrea attended Trafalgar Castle during the 2001 – 2002 school year for Grade 11 and made life-long friends who she still remains in touch with today. 

“Some of my favourite memories of the school were the times spent between study hall and bedtime when we would have the entire Castle for ourselves to explore. I also fondly remember Ms. Martin and many great experiences with my friends and teachers” said Andrea. “It is because of my time at Trafalgar that I found out how much I loved science and that I was good at it.”

The school provided Andrea with the freedom to try new things and discover what she was good at. Faculty and staff encouraged me to experience things that I had never tried before, and it felt great! As a boarder, there was always something to do – a new sport or club to try or evening or weekend activity, and that was exciting,” added Andrea.

Upon her return to Mexico, Andrea graduated high school and studied Nutrition Science, where she got her degree as a Nutritionist. She decided to focus on studying more science, so she attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico and earned her Master’s degree in Biochemistry. After graduation, she worked in research specializing in gene therapy within the diabetes field. On the clinical side, she also owned and operated a private practice as a Clinical Nutritionist for seven years, which included seeing patients and providing workshops and seminars on healthy diets, nutrition and well-being.

Then, when the worldwide pandemic hit, Andrea and her family jumped at an opportunity to move to Los Angeles, California. Unable to practice as a Nutritionist in the United States, Andrea returned to her love of research and now works as a Staff Research Associate at UCLA. I am currently working in the Hematology – Oncology area, where we study how our own immune cells, called T cells, attack cancer cells and how we can improve their ability to kill solid tumors” noted Andrea. “It’s fascinating work, engineering chimeric receptors and watching tumors disappear”.” As a lifelong learner, Andreas goal is to go back to school to complete her PhD in Genetics.

Be Bold and try everything that Trafalgar has to offer,” said Andrea when asked what advice she would give to current Trafalgar Castle students. The school is an empowering environment for students – you can excel at anything you put your mind to, such as academics, athletics, arts and still be a leader and/or a Prefect, and thats what makes Trafalgar special.”

It is important to remember that you can always try something new and live life to the fullest while following your dreams,” added Andrea. 

Andrea Jimenez Garcia was a Trafalgar boarding student who loved her Grade 11 experience at the school. The year abroad offered her an opportunity to travel and become independent while meeting life-long friends and discovering her passion for Science!


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