Mayra Martinez

Mayra MartinezMayra Martinez is a graduating senior in the College of Education’s Education and Public Policy program.  She has a passion for policy, and research that will inform the future of education, and teaching modals.  Ms. Martinez’ vocal advocacy about increasing the intersections between research and teaching, as well as greater access to higher education for underrepresented students is most evident in her work  with the Summer College Opportunity Program in Education (S.C.O.P.E.), a program provided through the College of Education’s Office of Multicultural Programs.

After her own early relationship with S.C.O.P.E., Ms. Martinez received support to pursue higher education, and to explore research methods that would directly impact the needs of marginalized students in her community.  Upon enrollment at Penn State, Mayra’s undergraduate journey exemplified her motivation to provide a voice for students, and to echo that voice in her research related to the ‘School to Prison Pipeline.’ 

Since freshmen year she has worked to reciprocate the early support that she received through a regular time commitment at the Office of Multicultural Programs.  Her great enthusiasm, energy, and motivation are rooted in her knowledge of the sacrifices that her parents made for her education, in light of their own limited educational opportunities. Mayra reminds us to “think of all of the people who were never even introduced to the opportunity of considering higher education as an option, and remember to push harder.”

Upon graduation, Ms. Martinez hopes to pursue a service position with AmeriCorps as a College Counselor, a position that will allow her to support students as they transition from high school to college.  She is enthusiastic about an opportunity to work with students, and to provide support that is similar to the support that she received throughout her undergraduate experience in the College of Education at Penn State.

“I had this opportunity through different supportive people to make it through.”

Those who have had the pleasure of meeting Mayra Martinez, remember her passion to pursue research operationalized by academic advocacy,  coupled with a sincere willingness to serve her fellow students.

Favorite Quote:

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”  - Maya Angelou