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Source: Ivette Martinez, ivettem@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Corene Brisendine, 785-532-2535, briz@k-state.edu

Thursday, July 15, 2010

K-STATE FRESHMAN FROM KANSAS CITY HELPS BRING LEAGUE OF LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS COUNCIL TO K-STATE

MANHATTAN -- Being the first member of her family to attend college wasn't forward-looking enough for Ivette Martinez, a Kansas State University sophomore from Kansas City, Kan.

During her freshman year at K-State, Martinez also got involved in helping fellow Hispanics.

As a member of the League of Latin American Citizens, she helped establish a council of the organization at K-State. The league also has councils in Wichita, Topeka and Salina.

"We made it as the fourth site council in the state and we're proud of that," Martinez said.

The League of Latin American Citizens provides community outreach and services for the Hispanic population. The K-State council works with Hispanic students, families living in the community and even undocumented Hispanics.

Martinez credits her mother with her decision to attend college. Her mother, after getting a divorce, moved Martinez away from their family in Texas and Mexico. Her mom got a minimum-wage job in Kansas City. Wanting a better life for her daughter, Martinez said her mother encouraged her to get a college education.

"My mom has always told me, 'Go for your dreams; I don't want you struggling like I am now,' " Martinez said. "I've always had this mentality that I want to live a better life, and I want my mom to be proud of me. I'm going to continue college because it's not only a benefit for me, but also for her."

Martinez, who is majoring in accounting and finance, is now considering attending graduate school. Her ambitions don't end with her educational aspirations. She wants to travel after graduating because she enjoys learning about different cultures.

"I want to get a taste of that and see where I want to start my career," Martinez said. "I wasn't planning on living in America. I wanted to go somewhere else, maybe Europe, and start my career there."

Martinez may get an early start on her travel plans. She hopes to go to Monterrey, Mexico, for a semester this school year to study Spanish. She'd like to go to Europe in her junior year to study French.

"I also am considering international community service," Martinez said. "I really want to do that over a summer. I like helping people. Doing community service somewhere would be amazing."