ALearn June 2017 Newsletter

Perseverance and Hard Work Pays off for High School Graduate

She didn't think the subject of math could keep her motivated enough to stay at school. However, Giulia Martins, a 2016 graduate of Mountain View High School, soon discovered that math was fun.

As a first-generation Portuguese college student who is fairly fluent in Portuguese, Guilia was born in Mariana, Minasgeras, Brazil. It wasn't long before she made her way to her new home in Lincoln, Nebraska when she was five-and-a-half-years old. And at 12-years-old, she relocated to Mountain View followed by a recent move to Oxnard, CA. By now, you may have guessed that all these moves are the result of being a "military brat." Guilia added that her father is in the Air Force.

Giulia found out about ALearn during her AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) interview when she was in 8th grade. The summer of 2012, before starting her freshman year, she jumped at the chance to attend ALearn's Catalyst to High School program to help her improve her math skills.

In addition to enthusiastically mentioning that the program was a good support system, she says that this opportunity allowed her to prepare for the high school environment.It didn't hurt that the program was also held at MV High School and that her ALearn instructor happened to be a teacher at the school!

She attributes the program gave her confidence, making her feel comfortable in the school that she would be attending.

"It really helped me learn that there are people out there who really want me to succeed and are going to support me through my experience and (the journey) to getting to success. So I think the time that I took it was very important."

In particular, she praises the high school teachers and teaching assistants who did not waiver in their support. "All the teachers and TA's I had were there by my side. Whenever I needed help, (they would see I may be struggling), they would always be right there to help me."

To her surprise and delight, she soon found math to be a very enjoyable subject. "Mr. Darby really helped me make math fun! (Because of) the things that he did, there was never a day that I was like well I'd rather be at home."

The program also provided her information about colleges and introduced her to the different possibilities that awaited her in the future.

"We also learned about colleges so before I even entered high school, I was very aware of all the classes I needed to take in order to be on the path to success and to be able to graduate from a four-year university. So that was very important to me as well."

During her high school years, she continued to take prep classes 4x/week which included tips on how to organize your years in high school, preparing for standardized tests, learning about the college process, and getting help with applications and applying for colleges. Additionally, she actively participated in the tutorial sessions and took advantage of mentoring opportunities.

Guilia, a Notre Dame University freshman studying for a Business degree (with a Marketing and Communications minor), has proven that her hard work in high school has paid off as she was awarded both an academic and athletic scholarship in soccer.

It also helps that she is passionate about her volunteer endeavors. This well-rounded young lady has volunteered each summer at Kick League Dream (KLD), a soccer camp for at risk/underprivileged youth (six years-old -13 years-old). It's no wonder that she was recognized for community service. Guilia also treasures the opportunity of a lifetime when she got to help with marketing efforts for the opening ceremony of a pro soccer team last summer!

"I am passionate about the pro soccer team and informing fans about opportunities for those who would like to get involved!"

And if this isn't enough, she also enjoys volunteering for the military by assembling care packages for Operation Care and Comfort, singing in her church choir, and going for hikes and ocean walks.

So, what are her goals after she graduates from college?

She says her priority is to find a job. "I would like to be able to provide for myself and my family, along with being happy and financially stable!"

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