‘You make our jobs worthwhile’: Burn survivor inspires LEOs while serving as an officer for a day

For 19-year-old Zaid Garcia, becoming a police officer has been a lifelong dream since he was 10 years old, but he always felt his dream might be out of reach due to a life-changing accident when he was a child.

The Life-Changing Accident

When Garcia was a young child living in Mexico, he suffered severe burns to more than 80% of his body which resulted in him losing his sight and both hands, according to KPRC News. The serious injuries also put Garcia in a coma for a period of time and required many surgeries over the years.

“No one knows how but a candle fell, and when the candle fell, the house caught on fire,” Garcia told KPRC News about the accident.

Making His Dream A Reality

When Los Angeles social media influencer Isaiah Garza heard about Garcia’s inspiring story and dreams of becoming a police officer, he was compelled to help make those dreams become a reality.

Garza contacted the Houston Police Department to arrange for Garcia to spend a day at HPD’s Academy in North Houston doing everything an officer would do.

Serving As An Officer For A Day

Learning The Tools Of The Trade

During his day at the academy, Garcia got to learn hands-on what it’s like to work in law enforcement. He practiced making a traffic stop on the driver’s track, helped officers clear a room and take down a suspect, met a K-9 handler and his police dog, and even visited the shooting range.

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Inspiring The Next Generation Of Officers

Garcia also had the chance to speak to a class of police cadets during his day at the academy. He shared with them his story of perseverance despite the life-altering injuries he endured.

“I ended up proving the doctors wrong, too, you know. They thought I could not make it, but here I am,” Garcia told the class.

A prosecutor teaching the cadet class that day was incredibly moved by Garcia’s strength and courage.

“You make our jobs worthwhile and rewarding and I’ll remember your testimony about wanting to be part of law enforcement for the rest of my life,” the prosecutor told Garcia.

Fulfilling A Lifelong Dream

At the end of his incredible day serving as an officer, Garcia received a junior police officer uniform and certificate from Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.

Garcia called it one of the best days of his life and said, “In some way, you can achieve your dream. I may be different, but it doesn’t mean that it stops me.”

Key Takeaways

Garcia’s story serves as inspiration to never give up chasing your dreams, no matter the obstacles you face. His perseverance and courage to overcome his injuries motivates others to keep fighting through adversity.


Despite unimaginable challenges, Garcia continues to hold onto his lifelong aspiration of becoming a police officer. By making his dream a reality for one day, he motivated a whole new generation of officers with his strength and resilience. Garcia serves as living proof that anyone can work toward achieving their goals, no matter the circumstances.

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What happened to Garcia as a child?

As a young child living in Mexico, Garcia suffered severe burns to over 80% of his body after a house fire accident. The injuries resulted in him losing his sight and both hands.

How did Garcia get to serve as an officer for a day?

Social media influencer Isaiah Garza learned of Garcia’s story and dream to become an officer. Garza contacted Houston PD to arrange for Garcia to spend a day experiencing everything police officers do.

What did Garcia speak to the cadets about?

Garcia spoke to a class of police cadets about persevering through adversity. He told them his story of overcoming life-threatening injuries as a child to still pursue his dream.

How did Garcia inspire the prosecutor training cadets?

The prosecutor teaching the class was deeply moved by Garcia’s strength and courage. He said Garcia’s story would motivate him in his own job.

What message does Garcia have for others?

Garcia wants others to know that you can still achieve your dreams, no matter your circumstances: “I may be different, but it doesn’t mean that it stops me.

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