Hometown: Kyle, TX
Motto: “Be the hardest working person you know”
Congratulations to Luis Martinez, our last Hercules Scholar of the week for our May School of the Month, Huston-Tillotson University. Luis has been selected as this week’s recipient of the $1,500 scholarship from the Tom Joyner Foundation.
Ever since I was a kid, I have always been a dreamer, always believed in the impossible
especially when no one believed in me. My dreams were always changing, not because I didn’t believe in them, but because I found another one with more purpose. First, I wanted to be a zoologist to help save animals, then an astronaut to discover the unknown. I even thought of being a U.S Marine to help protect our country. My goal always being to give back, to help people, to do something that helped better the world.
I was 19 when I finally realized my true purpose, my true dream. I wanted to be a teacher, but not just any teacher in any school. I wanted to teach and coach in an area where there are many low-income families. I wanted to teach health and physical education. For many this might not seem like a big dream, but to me it is. Many people don’t see what teachers do, and how their career is so crucial in society. Growing up in a low-income area, I saw so much that changed my life. I saw how crucial a teacher and a coach can be in a kid’s life. How they can be the difference that keeps a child on the right path, a path to success.
You might wonder why I strongly believe teachers can make the difference, why they’re
important to society. I believe this because I was from a low-income family, an area where many Hispanic and low-income families lived. Both my parents not having any education higher than a high school education. Neither of them knowing anything about how College works in the U.S because they were both from Mexico. I was kid with a dream of going to college with no idea of how to even start, yet here I am. I am here because I was blessed with the right teachers, teachers that did what I want to do, give back.
If it wasn’t for the teachers I had throughout my life, I would not be where I am today, and I will never forget. Mr. Garza, my 6th to 8th grade science teacher saw potential in me and helped me stay out of trouble. He really believed in me and pushed me to be a better person at a time in my life when I was going down a bad path. Coach Baker, my high school soccer coach taught me discipline. He was willing to do anything even if meant benching the best player on the team for being late, if it taught us discipline. Ms. Montoya helped me apply to universities and colleges, even apply for financial aid. All these teachers helped me, and many other students get to where we are today, they did more than just teach, they guided us through very important times in our life. They are the ones that are teaching the next doctors, the next lawyers, accountants they are the ones who give back to society with no credit.
While I say I was blessed with the teachers I had, I saw many others who weren’t. Many
students who had so much potential but didn’t get the extra support from their teachers. So many smart kids who didn’t go to college or universities because they didn’t know how to apply to financial aid or college. So many kids stopped believing in themselves because no one else did. So many kids that all they needed was, a teacher or a coach who believed in them.
My dream is to give back to society and to help the kids that need the most support that they
might not get otherwise. I just want to make a difference, because I know it’s my purpose. Nothing else in the world will ever give me the feeling of satisfaction that I would get from helping a kid succeed. I know what it is like to be in those shoes, with the odds stacked up against you. I know how much a difference I can make in a kid’s life; I know I will make a difference.
Leave a word of encouragement for this Herc Scholar and future educator by commenting below.