Deysi Nayeli Martinez will be the first person from her family to graduate from college. Martinez moved from Guanajuato, Mexico to Lakewood when she was 13-years-old. “We had nothing in Mexico and wanted a better life,” she said.
The psychology major currently works two jobs; one is at the Selma R. Carson Home in Fife. The facility serves unaccompanied boys between the ages of 14 and 17 who are awaiting immigration proceedings. Martinez serves as a resident monitor. “Interacting with these kids, making them laugh or creating activities for them, has been really rewarding” she said.
Now 24, Martinez has finished her undergraduate work. She plans to take some time off but will pursue a master’s degree. Her goal is to become a school counselor. “My counselors were a lot of help to me,” said Martinez. “Just having that connection to somebody in school actually helps a student be successful.”
Martinez transferred to UW Tacoma from Tacoma Community College. Once on campus she got involved and helped start the club Latinos Embracing Education of which she is president. Education plays a big role in Martinez’s life and she wants to expand access to as many people as possible. “It’s possible for everyone to go to school. You just have to know what the resources are” she said.
Martinez’s family came to the United States in search of a better life. And how do they feel knowing their daughter is about to graduate college? “They’re very proud,” Deysi said. “It’s an amazing feeling to know that your parents are proud of you.”
John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or firstname.lastname@example.org