Roseann Martinez

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First-generation students, who don't have a family history of higher education, are a group that makes UW Tacoma a very special place. Read their stories as they tell, in their own words, about the challenges they overcame on their path to success.

Roseann Martinez, UW Tacoma staff and first-generation college student.What does being First Gen mean to you?
I am very proud of my accomplishments and have learned that my pride comes mostly from my community of friends, mentors and peers that have paved the way.

What challenges have you experienced?
Being first gen creates a gap between me and my family of origin. I have experiences they don’t understand and can’t relate to. Sometimes ridicule because of the misconception that I think I am “better than” the rest of my family.

What strengths do you draw upon to persist?
I get strength from my mentors and peers that have paved the way for me. I stand on shoulders that have borne the brunt of discrimination and prejudice. I rely on faith and hope to get me through hard times.

Who supports you?
Interestingly, I feel supported by the young people that are following me in this journey. Their strength and determination is unmatched, is supportive, and keeps me going.

What was your major?
I have a B.A. in Sociology from Westmont College and earned my Master of Social Work from the University of Washington Seattle. I currently serve as UW Tacoma's Assistant Director for Student Advocacy and Support.

What advice do you have for other First Generation UWT students?
Find mentors, create peer associations and find places and organizations to build on your leadership skills.

Return to "We Are First Generation" Home Page

Written: 
June 5, 2018