Jamie Martinez is an observant and compassionate leader. She grew up in Dallas, TX where she learned a strong work ethic from her parents Marcia and Pedro Martinez. A qualifier for the state cross country meet in the fall, Jamie’s expected to be one of the state’s best 1,600-meter runners for the upcoming track season. She’s also the founder of her school’s peer tutoring program.
Can you describe your relationship with school?
My mom never lets us forget that coming to the U.S. was the most difficult AND rewarding journey of her life. I know I am blessed to be in the U.S. public school system because neither of my parents had that sort of opportunity growing up. I see my education as a gift and I want to make my parents proud.
What are you trying to accomplish with your education?
I am trying to make the most of everything. So, I work extremely hard not only because I know I’m capable of big things, but because I know many are not so fortunate.
Last year, for a research paper, I wrote about civil rights leader Jo Ann Robinson. She is remembered as a humble and quiet yet extremely influential activist. She fought for African Americans who were mistreated on public buses.
Since I’m a quiet person, I could relate to Jo Ann. I sometimes feel invisible in such a big school. But, Jo Ann’s story really inspired me to make a difference too. So, I gathered a group of friends to see what we could do. We realized many of our classmates had no support at home for getting their school work done. We petitioned to start an after-school, peer tutoring program and it turned out amazing.
The program helps students feel encouraged and supported with their homework. Their grades have improved and they feel more at home at Coolidge High too.