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Student produces YouTube videos, empowers viewers

| Friday, February 19, 2016

As a Saint Mary’s first year, Marialicia Garza has to balance classes and extracurricular activities — and a YouTube channel. Garza’s beauty and lifestyle videos on her channel, Mari G1007, encourage viewers to press play on their dreams and aspirations.

The channel gives her audience a candid glimpse into her life through tutorials and product reviews, but Garza said she hopes people learn far more than new makeup techniques from her videos.

“I want them to know not everyone is going to be perfect, and not everything is going to be easy in life, but if you keep striving for what you want, you’re definitely going to be able to do it, regardless of the circumstances,” Garza said. “I hope they know or at least understand that even if it seems like everything is going completely wrong, they can totally turn it around themselves as long as they keep pushing to do as much as they can.”

Garza said this desire to instill hope and perseverance in her viewers prompted her to upload a video titled “¡¡¡ SI SE PUEDEN !!!” in which she motivates people to seek higher education. She filmed the clip entirely in Spanish so that the message of empowerment could reach as wide of an audience as possible, Garza said.

“Our younger generations have kind of lost what the point of getting an education is,” Garza said. “It’s also important that not everything always has to be in English. Because this is in Spanish, it can reach people all across the country and even down into Latin America.”

Garza said she hopes the video resonates with students in her home city of Detroit, Michigan, where she attended one of the area’s few private schools and took classes with supportive teachers who motivated her to aim high.

“They always pushed us to apply to schools, even if it was just to the local community colleges,” Garza said. “Yes, I came from not so great of a city and background, but, at the same time, it’s kind of like, ‘If I can do it, I’m sure you can do it as well.’”

According to Garza, people who doubt their capabilities should surround themselves with ambitious individuals who encourage them on the road to academic achievement.

“Making the video showed a little bit more awareness and that there are other people outside of the community who can make it possible for students to actually want to go and continue with their education,” Garza said. “All I can hope is that maybe people put a little bit more thought into reaching out to services that either their high school or colleges themselves can provide. There are all these resources out there, and I think they just need to utilize them better.”

“¡¡¡ SI SE PUEDEN !!!” has been shared more than 30 times on Facebook, but Garza said she anticipated no such success, which made the decision to upload the video a difficult one.

“I was hesitant at first when I did make it,” Garza said. “I debated for about two and a half weeks whether to post it or not. I put it out there, and the response I got was unbelievable. It turned more into something that I didn’t think it would be. It had more of an effect than I thought it would have.”

Though she received praise for this particular video, the challenge of being a bilingual woman on YouTube persists, Garza said.

“People are going to want to categorize you a little bit more and say, ‘You only do videos in this language. Why can’t you do something different?’” Garza said. “There will always be criticism, but at the same time, it kind of helps you grow in a way because you’re able to understand what other people are trying to tell you. You don’t take it to heart, but you learn to cope with it and readjust yourself through it.”

Garza said she hopes to continue producing quality content while studying abroad in South Korea this upcoming fall, as her knowledge of the beauty industry may grant her distinct opportunities.

“I’m really aware and up to date on the beauty aspects of business and the processes that go on behind the scenes,” Garza said. “It will help me later. I’ll possibly be able to work with companies that make a wider range of global products that all people can use. It kind of gets tricky with makeup, especially with skin tone.”

For now, Garza plans to film in both Spanish and English and show viewers from all over that beauty lies in imperfections, she said.

“I want to reach out to an audience and let people know I may have had similar experiences to them or even just brighten their day a little bit,” Garza said. “I hope they see that even though they may come from harder backgrounds — and not everything is going to be handed to them in life — they can always still do what they want.”

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About Martha Reilly

Martha is a senior majoring in English literature and political science. She currently serves as Saint Mary's editor but still values the Oxford comma in everyday use.

Contact Martha