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Celebrating First-Generation Students: Yolanda Martinez

Meet Yolanda Martinez

For Yolanda Martinez, it means a lot to be a first-generation student. She recognizes that she is setting an example for her family and friends back home in Jerome, Idaho. Through education, she believes that one can leave home, explore, and become a better person.

Martinez participated in TRIO in high school. When she arrived at Boise State she went to an information table and saw TRIO programs were available on campus. Staff from the Center for Multicultural Educational Opportunities encouraged her to sign up.

Martinez is amazed at how much the TRIO programs offer students at Boise State and in the Treasure Valley. She worked at TRIO Upward Bound over the summer and was excited about all they could offer the high school students. “It’s really cool to be recognized by the university as a first-gen student” said Martinez. “Knowing there are people who support us and want us to succeed, it’s cool to have positive reinforcement from Boise State.”

Martinez is on track to graduate May 2020 with a degree in History and Political Science Secondary Education. After she graduates, she wants to continue to work with TRIO and TRIO Upward Bound as a counselor so she can encourage other students to go on to college. Martinez said, “Knowledge is power-the more they know, the better they will become!”

November 4th – 8th is First-Generation Student week. The Center for Multicultural Educational Opportunities, housed in the College of Education, includes a variety of programs that support first-generation college students.

Center for Multicultural Educational Opportunities

-By Carrie Quinney