Jose Luis Martinez Garcia

Jose Luis Martinez Garcia

May 2020

Jose Luis Martinez Garcia

Class Status: Graduating Senior

Major: Biology: Ecology/ Environmental Biology

Campus Involvements: Toro Dreamer Success Center Mentor, STEM Scholar, MSTI, E.N.F (Immigrant Student Alliance), Ecology Club

Career Goal: High School Biology Teacher and University Professor

Hobbies: Playing video games, watching anime, running, hiking, and hanging out with my friends!

How has CSI³ helped you?
Opportunities, that is the best way I can describe everything CSI³ has done for me. Coming into Dominguez Hills as a transfer student, who is also undocumented, I have always had limited opportunities to participate in a variety of programs. Upon transferring everyone at CSI³ has been extremely supportive of not only my academic journey, but also my personal goals and ambitions. It is because of CSI³ that I was given an opportunity to TA, an opportunity which I am extremely grateful for, because without it I would not have gained that valuable classroom experience which I desired. I knew that if I ever had an issue come up, or if I was struggling with a class that I had somewhere to go. Everyone at CSI³ accepted me with open arms and made my undergrad journey truly memorable.

What keeps you motivated and positive throughout life’s hardships?
Whenever I begin thinking negatively or new challenges arise, I always like to think back and reflect on everything I have been able to accomplish. My family has also been a huge motivation for me. I arrived in this country at the age 1 and throughout it all my family, my mom especially, have always been there for me. Growing up I have seen the struggles my family has had to endure, the constant discrimination, and injustices they have faced, but despite this they have always pushed me to achieve my dreams. A couple months ago I remember getting the call from UCLA, I was accepted into the program of my dreams, I also remember my mom crying out of happiness. Moments like these are when I remember I am doing this for everyone in my community, from my little cousins to my niece and nephew and for my future students. This is my motivation.

What advice would you like to give to your fellow scholars?
My best advice would be to take every single opportunity in front you, do not doubt yourself and just go for it. Sometimes you will feel like everything and everyone is against you, but do not give up. It took me 6 years to get my bachelor’s degree and honestly sometimes I felt like I was taking too long, that I was lagging behind others of my age, but thinking back about it now college was really an amazing journey. Make the best of college, make memories everywhere and anytime you can, get involved, join clubs, do everything you can because time does not stop and before you know it you will be graduating too.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will be attending UCLA as a part of their Teacher Education Program beginning summer of 2020. While at UCLA I will be working towards earning my teaching credential as well as my master’s degree in education. Upon completion I hope to continue advocating for the undocumented communities throughout Los Angeles and help combat the inequities throughout public education in our marginalized communities.