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Corpus Christi Native, Artist and Actor Pepe Serna Visits Garcia Center with Message about Education and Art

February 26, 2016


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Pepe Serna, an actor, artist and Corpus Christi native, made a special visit the Antonio E. Garcia Arts & Education Center on Feb. 25, and spoke to a roomful of children enrolled in the Garcia Center’s “Arts After School” program about making the right choices, staying in school and the importance of reading and math. The Garcia Center is a part of the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

“The thing that is truly amazing about Pepe Serna is that he grew up on 18th Street, right by the Garcia Center. It’s the same place where these children are growing up,” said Andrea Elizondo, Director of the Garcia Center. “It’s profound for these children to see someone like themselves making it. Pepe is sending a great message to these children, that you can rise above your circumstances and be whatever you choose to be in life.”

During Serna’s talk, he engaged the children in conversation, had them up on their feet dancing, showed off one of his acting awards and even gave the kids impromptu acting lessons. All the while, he incorporated education, career development and self-confidence.

“There was one girl in the crowd that told Pepe that she was being bullied at school, and Pepe told her how to present herself in a positive and peaceful manner,” said Elizondo. “The children were so excited and amazed by Pepe’s presence that they begged him to come back to the center to give acting lessons.”

Serna has appeared in over 100 films, including “Scarface,” where he played Montana's friend Angel Fernandez. Serna has been honored by the Screen Actors Guild Heritage Achievement Award, the League of United Latin American Citizens and received the Estrella Award for Arts & Culture from the Orange Country Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The Garcia Center, located in the heart of Corpus Christi's West Side, connects Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to the community by providing programs in art, dance, health and nutrition, family support, and literacy at low or no cost to community members. To learn more about the Garcia Center, go to