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Martinez First in Family to Graduate from TSTC

Friday, April 19, 2013
By Eladio Jaimez

Martinez first in family to graduate form TSTCApril 26, 2013 will bring a new experience to the Martinez family from Pharr. For the first time, Laura Martinez’s parents, two sisters and brother will be attending a college graduation for one of their own.

Laura will be walking across the stage to receive her Associate’s Degree in Biomedical Equipment Technology (BMET) at Texas State Technical College’s Spring Commencement, making her the first in her family to graduate from college.

Martinez said her parents, who were born and raised in Mexico, never finished high school. Her mother owns a cosmetology license. Her brother and two sisters aged 25-35 never finished their degrees. Martinez, who’ll turn 22 in May, said her family’s been very supportive of her current journey.

“They’re always making sure I do my work and stay focused,” Martinez said. “They’re my motivation and they push me every day to finish. “

And it’s been quite the journey for Martinez.

She graduated from PSJA North in 2010 and figured at the time that she wanted to pursue a degree in computer maintenance.

But acting on a recommendation from her high school principal, Martinez contacted Roberto Rivera, the BMET chairperson. Martinez loved what the program offered and enrolled immediately.

“As soon as I talked to Mr. Rivera I knew I wanted to be a part of the program,” Martinez said. “My instructors have been great and I’ve learned so much in my short time here.”

Martinez’s training will allow her to work as a specially trained electronics technician with an emphasis in technology that is utilized in the health care field. Martinez, like all the students in BMET, prides herself in the interactive experience she receives on a variety of medical test equipment and devices.

A technician like Martinez will be responsible for the calibration, trouble-shooting, and repairing of a variety of sophisticated equipment.

“We do a lot of hands-on work here,” Martinez said.

Aside from her school duties, Martinez was also active with CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) during her first year at TSTC. She said CAMP helped facilitate her transition from high school to college life, including moving away from home and living in the dorms.

“They helped me a lot with money for books and food,” Martinez said. “But they really helped just to get me used to college in general.”

Martinez currently works at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg and hopes to continue working there after graduation.

Spring Commencement will take place on Friday April 26 at 7 p.m. at Harlingen Municipal Auditorium.

For more information on commencement visit www.tstc.edu/harlingengraduation.

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