Araceli Martinez is a sophomore in Purdue University’s Department of Public Health. She chose the public health major in the College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) to prepare her with an understanding of preventing disease as well as treating it. After she graduates, she plans to attend medical school to become a pediatric oncologist. For Martinez, Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) amplifies the hard work and sacrifices of the generations that came before her.
What is your major in the College of Health and Human Sciences, and what made you choose it?
My major is public health with a pre-med track. I initially began with a pre-professional degree in the School of Health Sciences, but I decided to switch to public health after I realized the importance of not only treating but also preventing illnesses before they occur. I love the idea of being able to help people, and I've always been intrigued by the study of medicine.
In what ways have you gotten involved at Purdue and in HHS?
Here at Purdue, I am part of the ACE Campus Food Pantry. I volunteered during my first year and am serving as a shift lead this year. Additionally, I had the opportunity to be a team leader for BGR (Boiler Gold Rush). I'm also hoping to get more involved in the near future.
What has been your proudest accomplishment as a Purdue student?
My proudest achievement is actually being a Purdue student. As a first-generation college student, figuring out college is sometimes difficult in and of itself. Purdue offers a world-class education and infinite opportunities for involvement, which have challenged me to grow as an individual.
What are your plans for after you graduate?
After I graduate, I plan on tackling medical school and seeing what opportunities are presented to me afterward. My dream has always been to become a pediatric oncologist.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to reflect, celebrate and be proud of who I am and my roots. I am the person I am today due to the hard work and sacrifices of the generations before me that have paved a path in the pursuit of a better life. That’s something for which I am grateful every day, not just this month.
Written by: Rebecca Hoffa, email@example.com