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Ms. Martinez

Erica Martinez- One of Our Two New College and Career Counselors

Ms. Martinez is one of our new College and Career counselors. She was born and raised in Fresno and then she moved to the Bay Area in 2016 to be a counselor. She has worked as a counselor for six years.

Ms. Martinez has a degree in criminology. She first studied at Fresno city college then transferred to Fresno State. She became a probation officer for about four years, but she didn’t really like it. She said, “I don’t mind probation, but I didn’t feel like I was helping anybody, whereas this, this is my thing. I love helping you guys.”

Ms. Martinez said she moved to SMHS because “there’s so many more students that need help and that push to go to college.” Ms. Martinez followed up with, “I think it’s important to help you guys because you’re usually ‘first-gen,’ and your parents are usually not English speaking and that’s okay, but how do you know if you don’t know what you don’t know?”

In her spare time, Ms. Martinez goes out to eat with family and friends. She said, “I like to go find new places to eat, but because I don’t know anyone here, usually my family or friends will come visit or I’ll go visit family in Fresno.” She also likes to read and watch shows on various streaming services. Ms. Martinez adds, “I used to love reading about serial killers, now not so much, but I do like listening to podcasts around true-crime stuff.”

Ms. Martinez had a difficult time during quarantine. She said, “My life is by myself. I’m single, no kids, not pets, so being in my apartment all day was rough.” She would spend her time on zoom helping her students. She mentioned, “I would try to zoom with my students online in the evening because I knew they had school in the day and I would stay on late. Sometimes I would get on at like five and I wouldn’t get off until about nine or ten to help them. It was hard though.”

Ms. Martinez loves her job and is very passionate about it. She stated, “I love my job. It’s part of who I am, and it sounds really crazy to say that.” She’s also very passionate about Social justice issues. She said, “I really think that this has come to the forefront because of COVID.”

Ms. Martinez strongly encourages students to seek out help. She said, “Seek out resources and support because most of you are first-gen you don’t know what you don’t know. There’s always going to be people on campus to help you. Always.”

A piece of life advice she leaves is, “Take advantage of opportunities.” She adds, “Don’t get hung up on ‘that’s not my major, what else can I do?’ You guys can do anything you want. A major does not decide your career.”

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