BlavinScholars.org: What degree(s) will you be receiving this spring?
Marti: Bachelors Degree in Social Work and minor in Ethnic Studies.
BlavinScholars.org: What awards or honors have you received while at NAU?
Marti: Gold Axe Award 2018, Outstanding Social Work Student 2017, National Residence Hall Honorary Bronze Pin and Award 2016, Blavin Scholar of the Month-August 2015, Best Speech – STAR Fundamentals of Public Speaking 2014, STAR Certificate of Achievement 2014
BlavinScholars.org: What is your major and what inspired you to pursue that particular major?
Marti: My major is Social Work and I inspired myself to pursue this degree through the idea that there are people out there that need someone to care about them, even if it means lending an ear.
BlavinScholars.org: What are your short-term goals for after graduation?
Marti: My short-term goal after graduation is to find employment relating to my career to gain experience before I pursue graduate school for my Master’s in Social Work.
BlavinScholars.org: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Marti: Five years from now, I see myself as a successful woman who has established her own life. I will have my Master’s degree and possible license. I will have a career whether it is testing the waters in something new or something that I want to do for the rest of my life. I will be happy!
BlavinScholars.org: How have you grown as a person since first entering college?
Marti: Since entering college, I have grown in many ways and I can tell you why. Leadership. “If it doesn’t kill you, it only makes you stronger.” I never jumped up and said, “Oh, pick me! I want to be the leader.” People saw the leader within me and chose me. Through leadership, I have overcome my fears, increased my adaptability, managed my boundaries, took initiative, created many relationships, and learned through other’s examples whether they were bad or good. Leadership first chose me, then I chose leadership, but I decided how I wanted it to change me. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and that is how I have grown throughout my college career.
BlavinScholars.org: What excites you most about your future?
Marti: What excites me most about my future is that I have people in my life to share it with.
BlavinScholars.org: What advice about higher education and life, in general, would you give to high school students who have experienced foster care?
Marti: Foster care does not define you. If you dream for something more, go for it! Only you can make that change happen. If you do not know where to start, ask for help! There are many resources and scholarships that can make higher education an opportunity for you! It is hard and you may struggle, but it does not mean you cannot succeed. Do not settle for less than your best.
BlavinScholars.org: What advice would you offer to incoming Blavin Scholars?
Marti: Staying connected is the most important advice I can give. Being in this program means that you have a home that is supportive and will help you along the way. We all have strengths and weaknesses, which make us unique. We have helped one another in some way and that is something to look forward to.
BlavinScholars.org: What’s your biggest takeaway from your experience as a Blavin Scholar?
Marti: As president of the Blavin Scholars, I learned that this program is a gateway to success, but only if you utilize it in that way. Earning a degree as a Blavin Scholar is a great milestone and something to be exceptionally proud of. This program gives you an opportunity and it is your choice how you are going to spend it!