Alberto Martinez is a first-year graduate student studying Chicano Studies. He is a formerly incarcerated, Dean's List student leader who is passionate about creating a diverse and inclusive culture on campus and advocating for social justice through community engagement and involvement. He strives to empower formerly incarcerated individuals and marginalized communities of color through the realization of identity and attaining higher education. Through servant leadership, Alberto has sought to make significant contributions to social change through his involvement and engagement on campus. He values the opportunities he has now to serve his communities and continues to push for collective action that promotes diversity and true social change.
As a former foster youth and formerly incarcerated, I am very familiar with the struggles and hardships these two populations face, from the very real effects of systemic racism to the crippling effects of the imposter syndrome. This has driven my passion for finding ways to support these underrepresented communities and help them find their own strength and resiliency through self-empowerment and higher education. I have been extremely privileged and blessed to have a student position with the Educational Opportunity Program as an admissions outreach intern. I have the great pleasure of using my lived experiences to connect with students, motivate and encourage the historically low-income and educationally disadvantaged students, with my focus being on the former foster youth and the formerly incarcerated students, to seek higher education. I have also been involved with the University Student Union- Board of Directors since February 2020, and I am now the current Vice-Chair of the BOD for the 2020-2021 school year. As Vice-Chair, I was part of the effort to endow $25,000 to the Quentin Thomas Scholarship, which would award $1,000 scholarships each year to former foster youth and/or formerly incarcerated students.