Starbucks barista pours into students’ lives

By Emma Whitaker | Broadcast Reporter

Rosie Garcia, Starbucks barista, has been cheering up people’s lives at Baylor for 11 years now with conversation and compassion.

Garcia and her best friend Belinda Olivares originally worked at the previous Starbucks within the Dutton Avenue Parking Garage, which used to be the only Starbucks on campus. The two have since moved to the Moody Memorial Library location.

Garcia said she is teaching others daily, from training new employees to teaching students kindness and engagement within the community.

Garcia graduated from Howard College, where she was a Phi Theta Kappa. Since then she has worked for Head Start in multiple positions including teaching, becoming an education specialist, disability coordinator and mental health advocate. She also said she helps families of immigrants within the McLennan county community who are being impacted by policy change.

Garcia’s diverse understanding of people and cultures gives her a strong ability to connect with others. Undergraduates, teachers and graduated students alike have all said they know Garcia and her Starbucks as their home away from home.

Tulsa junior Bridget Young, who has Garcia’s personal phone number, said, “I definitely see Rosie as a mom I have in Waco.”

Graduated students still come back to visit Rosie and Belinda. Montana Parsons, now a professional baseball player, said he became a fast friend to Garcia in his time at Baylor.

“She was a light to my life every single day, every single morning,” Parsons said. “I continue to want to be her friend and will be her friend for the rest of my life. Rosie, I love you.”