Community rallies around Garcia family during Old High/Rider week

Local News

It’s Rider/Old High week, and it’s usually a time for school spirit, tradition and a friendly rivalry that takes place on the football field Friday night, but this year the match-up is bittersweet for not only students but the entire community.

That’s because the WFISD is still mourning the loss of one of their own WFHS senior Yajaira Garcia, who was murdered over the weekend.

Hundreds gathered at the public vigil to pay there respect to Yajaira Garcia.

Garcia was described as a fun loving person who loved soccer, horses. and rodeos and music.

Yajaira had already been accepted to Vernon College and planned on going there before transferring to MSU. She was hoping to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse.

Yajaira’s dad Ramiro Garcia said he wishes no one would ever experience this pain.”

“They don’t wish this upon anybody,” a tranlsator said for Garcia said. “They don’t want no other parent to go through what they are going through.”

All week Old High and Rider have put rivalry aside to support each other following this unthinkable tragedy.

For example, on Sunday, the Rider cheerleaders and Chick-Fil-A staff decorated for Old High at the restaurant.

It’s become a tradition for both schools to decorate Rider/Old High week, but the Coyote family took that Sunday, the day after Yajaira’s murder, off out of respect for her family

The Old High senior was a member of the Lady Coyotes’ soccer team and was expected to be the varsity team manager her senior year.

For five years, she was also part of the Cafe con Leche, the college preparation program. 
Those who knew her said Yajaira was a smart girl with such a bright future ahead.

“The students that are in this program, the families that are, we are like family,” Cafe con Leche founder Gonzalo Robles said. “We are not just community members. When you are part of our organization we become family, so she was more than a student to us,”

“She was a great role model for younger students for kids everywhere,” a translator for Yajaira’s mother Maria Mayela said. “She wants girls to be aware of who they are dating and if they have signs that if the person isn’t right to be more cautious.”

A vigil in Yajaira’s honor is expected to start at 6:30 p.m. Her funeral will be Friday at 11 Our Lady Queen of Peace.

When Rider and Old High compete for bragging rights at Memorial Stadium tomorrow night, there will be a moment of silence for Yajaira following the first quarter. After that, there will be donation buckets on the home and visitors’ side.

Those funds will be given to Yajaira’s family.

There is an account set up on behalf of Yajaira’s parents at First Bank and you can go to any location to make a donation.

You can also donate through a GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $1,200.

Joshua Cook, 19, is charged with the murder of Yajaira Garcia.

She was reportedly on her way to take the SAT Saturday morning when she was allegedly shot and killed by Cook.

Cook is in jail with a $750,000 bond for the murder charge and a $100,000 bond on the burglary of habitation charge.

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