Roger Martinez: First-generation college student and future business leader

Roger Martinez: First-generation college student and future business leader
Posted on 01/28/2020
Roger Martinez: First-generation college student and future business leader

By Kadey Heidrich
PISD Communications

 Roger Martinez has dreamed of attending Texas A&M University since middle school. When the Sam Rayburn High School senior attends college in the fall of 2020, he will be the first in his family to do so.

“I really like the culture there. You can walk around campus and say “Howdy” to someone you haven’t met and they will say ‘Howdy’ back,” says Martinez.

In part, Martinez credits the opportunities he has been given at Rayburn for his ability to attend college. He has taken AP courses since his freshman year and believes that the teachers in his AP classes consistently push him to work harder and are invested in his success.

Roger embraces the learning process. He is a motivated learner who asks questions, engages in meaningful conversations and encourages his peers,” said his English Literature teacher Maria Armenta. “He makes sure other students know that what they have to offer to this classroom, to this world, has value.”

In addition to his regular classes, Martinez is involved in the AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) program at Rayburn, where he receives college preparatory advice from his instructor, Teresa Sarabia.  Sarabia provides information to students about when to apply for certain scholarships and financial aid, understanding the costs associated with attending college and which schools offer the best programs for certain majors; all vital pieces of information to first-generation college students.

Not only is Martinez a top student at Rayburn, but he is also a multi-sport athlete who is involved in basketball, football and track. His favorite sport is football because of the time he has invested into it and the friends he has made through the sport. Martinez is grateful for the group of friends that he has made through playing football and hopes that the bonds of friendship they have formed will last a lifetime.

“At this point of transition, I feel thankful and blessed to have friends who support me. We support each other,” he said.

Martinez is driven by the support he has received from his family and his will not to let them down. His younger brother views him as a role model and when he thinks about not doing a homework assignment or attending a class, he considers the example he is setting.

“I want to make them proud,” Martinez says.

As Martinez begins planning for life after high school, his dream of attending Texas A&M may soon become a reality. While he has not decided which college he plans to attend, he has been offered the prestigious Texas A&M Regents’ Scholarship. The scholarship, totaling $20,000, is awarded to first-generation college students to aid them in completing their education.

While enrolled in college, Martinez plans to study business. He has always loved numbers and has enjoyed getting to know new people and talking with them. After completing his Bachelor’s degree, he plans on earning his MBA and eventually hopes to open his own business.