Although adjusting to life in the United States proved difficult, Beatriz Martinez came to the realization that she can use her education and unique perspective to help multicultural communities.
Ms. Martinez was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1976. Although her parents divorced when she was young, Beatriz’s parents made thier children a priority, and so Beatriz was able to maintain strong relationships with both sides of her extended family. In school, Beatriz hated learning English so she never imagined moving to the United States. It wasn’t until she was felt a yearning for something greater from life that she decided to visit her uncle in Minnesota for a few months.
When she arrived in Minnesota in the middle of January 1997, Ms. Martinez was utterly unprepared for the weather; her thickest coat was a leather jacket. Although her initial plan was to stay for only six months, Beatriz felt as though she need more time and didn’t return to Colombia for two years. Beatriz enrolled at Normandale Community College where she opted to take regular classes instead of ESL courses. While her minimal understanding of English was extremely challenging, she slowly learned the language with the help of children she nannied.
In keeping with her theme of helping others, Ms. Martinez is a Community Relations Manager for UCare where she organizes several community engagement events. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and two children.