Speaking from the heart, class of 2018 graduate, Elizabeth Martinez told an audience of several hundred people at the Adams County Youth Initiative (ACYI) Catalyst for Change breakfast that if it weren’t for her high school counselor and an education system that catered to her needs, she would likely be a high school dropout.
Martinez was presented the ACYI Champion Award at the annual breakfast and spoke about her role as the Technology Enabled Girl Ambassador (TEGNA). Her very bright future is in stark contrast to her first year at Westminster High School where she admits she got way off track. Martinez said the death of her father caused her to lose interest in school and give up on the things she was good at, like math.
“My dad was always a big supporter of mine and told me I was so good at math, and then he wasn’t there,” she told the group.
Martinez thanked Counselor Victoria Rimmey of the Westminster Public Schools Future Center for helping to turn her life around. She also said the district’s Competency Based System and her time at Hidden Lake High School allowed her to accelerate her learning and make up for lost credits. After getting her schoolwork in order, Martinez returned to Westminster High School where she was able to take concurrent enrollment classes while working toward getting her diploma.
Word of Martinez’s very public shout out was shared with Rimmey who said the news, “Just made my day,” adding, “I am so happy to hear that Elizabeth is doing so well and has gone on to be such a role model for students in the district. She is a truly remarkable person, a testament to the transformative power of hard work.”
Rimmey says Martinez’s story is the reason she became a counselor, “The reason I decided to become a school counselor is to help students rise above the challenges life throws their way and to achieve their true potential, whichever path that may look like.”