Patrick Garcia, fourth-year Public Health
I’m not sure whether I saw Patrick first or heard him first. He was one of my first friends during training for the Orientation Week Crew. When O-Week came, it seemed that 80 per cent of the time a cheer started, it was Patrick leading it.
Once orientation week ended, his loud positivity still rang through his weekly Monday morning motivational texts. Here’s a guy with an aura of cheer brighter than any Spirit Squad cape.
What sort of activities are you involved with?
I was on board of directors last year for Community Services faculty. I’m also at FCAR event a lot. And, of course, orientation week every year with the Ryerson Orientation Crew. I was with Tri-Mentoring Program, too.
I’m into beatboxing as well. I’ve also recently started going to poetry slams. Both with UHHU (Urban Hip Hop Union).
You used to dance as well?
Yeah, I used to be more involved with Studio II (for dance choreography). That was my birthplace for learning how to perform. I learned a lot from David Kuoch and AB Aguinaldo. From David, I learned it’s not just cool moves, it’s how to perform the art of dance. And AB taught me, it’s about loving it first, and technical skills come after.
What are you passionate about these days?
I want to have more of a leadership role, especially in community building. There’s a lot of that during orientation week, but right now, I’m working with a youth group near my elementary school.
It’s called the St. Bernard of Clairvaux youth group. We want to inspire them, help them open up, and get involved with volunteering.
How old are they?
They’re in grades 8-12. We just started in September, there’s about 20 of us.
What motivated you to take on leadership roles?
In high school, I was really shy. I didn’t know how to express myself, but I’ve always wanted to communicate with people more. I used to have a disability with my speech, so I was afraid people would judge me when I spoke.
No one believes me now, but I really did have a hard time making friends.
What brought you out of that shell?
Right from my first orientation week at Ryerson, it was like a new start. Everyone was so welcoming and open-minded, I felt comfortable like I never did before.
A lot of the Ryerson Orientation Crew thinks of you as the “Cheermaster.” Why makes you cheer so loud?
It’s just me wanting to be different. I could never cheer in high school because of the fear of being teased and bullied so I have personally never done it. But at Ryerson, it was time for change.
I want to make everyone feel welcomed, it brings out a positivity. It really brings people together. It also brings up the spirits of others.Chris Tung gave me that name, “Cheermaster”.
Every Monday morning, I receive a positive motivating text from you. I assume this is a mass group text?
Yes, I send them to all my contacts. Including Blackberry Messenger, it’s probably around 400 people.
Why do you do it?
It’s to show the world is a small place and that there’s always someone who cares about you. I’ve met so many great friends over these past four years, they all mean so much to me. Even if I don’t see a person often, I want them to know that I’m there for them.
Sometimes, I wonder, why don’t people reply? But it doesn’t matter to me, as long as they received it.