Back in middle school, Gabriella Martinez’s mentors and teachers left an impression on her that changed the course of her career ambitions — she knew she wanted to be a teacher.
“They were inspiring to me because they weren't afraid to be themselves in the classroom, it made them really easy to relate to and build relationships with,” Martinez said. “I want to build similar relationships with students and hopefully impact their lives the way my teachers affected mine.”
Martinez has been mentoring students in the Adelante! Program at Boulder High School for the past four years. She also completed her student teaching at Boulder High School, what she calls her second home. Working with first generation students in the Adelante! Program and helping them prepare for college has been rewarding and has turned into one of her passions.
“My students in Adelante! have helped me realize that I want to be an equitable educator who provides opportunities for students like them to accomplish their dreams,” she said. “All students deserve someone who loves them and believes in them; that's what I hope to be.”
A Denver native, Martinez received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from CU Boulder. As a freshman, she was a student employee in the Office of Student Services where she learned about the Master's Plus Teaching Licensure program. The MA+ program allows students to earn their Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction while working toward their teacher licensure. Martinez saw the program a “natural fit” and an efficient way to work toward her goals.
Between her field experiences, work with Adelante! and her internship with the Boulder County Latino History Project Teacher Workshop, Martinez is committed to the principles of social justice and lessons that engage students and champion under-told histories.
“Attending the School of Education at CU has been hugely influential for me, it helped me develop a teaching philosophy rooted in social justice and introduced me to instructors and peers who I continue to learn from every day,” she said. “Because of what I've learned through this program I feel that I can be an effective and compassionate teacher.”