Phoenix, AZ – Robin Martinez is pursuing a law degree which will enable him to fight for the rights of Americans who may be disenfranchised.
Robin, age 18, was born and raised in Parker Arizona, and graduated from Parker High
School. Currently, Robin is attending Arizona State University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Justice Studies, and has the long-term goal of being a civil rights attorney working for the State of Arizona or the ACLU,
“I’ve always enjoyed studying civil rights and the rights of others, and the law itself. It’s always fascinated me that there are so many facets to the law, and how as a civil rights attorney it will be my job to protect those individual rights, as wells as the rights and freedoms of all people – and I think that’s just beautiful. I’ve always been fascinated by the Civil Rights Movement, and I’ve always been in love with the studies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers – so it’s my goal to become a practicing civil rights attorney, for a career.”
Meanwhile, Robin is among the hundreds of high potential students from low income circumstances who have earned scholarships from College Success Arizona. Beyond the financial support, the scholarships also provide specialized mentoring services through a team of “Success Advisers.” Matt Sotelo is Robin’s Success Adviser, “Matt’s been doing a tremendous job in helping me in my transition. He’s been checking up on me and when we’ve had our mentoring sessions, Matt really helped me to establish my goals, and what I want to be and become, and how to get there, and how to successfully be the student I want to be, and successfully earn the grades that I want. And, he never said that any of my goals were too crazy or out of reach. Matt has also helped me with my resume and my professional skills as well, not just the academics.”
For many students, transitioning from a small town to college life in a huge city can be overwhelming, but Robin has embraced the change, “Parker is definitely a small town, and very small compared to the city life here in Phoenix. But, I’ve always been kind of an extroverted person – free thinking, free spirited. So, moving outside of the small pond that is Parker, Arizona, and into the large lake of Phoenix, I found more of an opportunity rather than a daunting thing, because now I can explore so many different things, and learn more about myself, and others and different cultures. Even during the first semester of college, I’ve met so many different people, and it was beautiful, and I loved it. I’ve been so excited to be here, and I think the excitement overcame my nerves, and that really helped with the transition itself.”
Robin adds that his family has been a great source of motivation, “My mother and father did not go to college. Right out of high school they got married and they started building their family, so they never really got the chance to explore college, as I have. Also, my brother Chas went through the College Success Arizona program and he went to ASU as well, and he obtained his master’s (degree) in social work. So, they (my parents) really pushed Chas, and by watching Chas grow and succeed, I was encouraged and motivated to pursue a college education. And, Chas certainly pushed me to apply for scholarships, and to apply myself, and to get into ASU and get a hold of ASU, and all of the resources they have. I saw him succeed at ASU, and so that inspired me to do the same.”
For Robin, living very close to one of the nation’s top law schools is helping to reinforce his goal of being a civil rights attorney, “What’s great about living downtown is that my dorm is right across the hall from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. So, whenever I walk into my dorm, or I’m sitting and studying, I can look across and I see my potential future. And, it’s just a constant reminder to me that I’m going to be practicing law and I’m probably going to be doing it here. It also reminds me constantly to stay on my toes, keep myself going, keep myself up – because, my goal is literally right in front of me.”
And the best part of college, “To me, the best part of college is that there is no shortage of opportunity to succeed at Arizona State University. My professors have really opened my eyes and really challenged my ideas, and I have the opportunity to meet these new people from all across the country and all across the world. And, the people have been just so fantastic, and they help me in each and every possible way; mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Also, ASU gives us every opportunity to succeed, if you’re having trouble they give you writing centers, if you’re having problems they give you people to talk to.”
Robin has advice for middle and high school students considering their own college options, “Don’t be discouraged by the myths and rumors about how crazy and insane college is. You’ve just got to go and really experience it for yourself and go and reach for it. You will hear all about other peoples’ experiences at college, but if you want that college experience, and that college life, you have to go and seek it out for yourself, and take a hold of your education, and take a hold of your future. And, then and only then, will you find success and true happiness at a place like Arizona State University.”
Beyond the books, Robin says, “I sing and I’m learning how to play piano, and I love to read and study my Bible, and learn about that, and follow my Faith. But, definitely singing is one of my greatest passions.”
Since 2005, College Success Arizona has worked with nearly 1,300 students, and provided more than 16 million dollars in scholarships and success services to help increase the college attainment rate in Arizona. If you would like to be part of the mission of providing educational opportunity to high potential students from low income circumstances, your tax-deductible contribution can be made through the “Donate” button on the top of this page.