In honor of #WomensHistoryMonth, we want to celebrate a mentor, activist, and community leader who dedicated her life to improving the lives of everyone around her.
Marian Martinez was a longtime advocate for the Latino community in Omaha. Prior to her passing in 2015, Marian was a committed advocate for Latino youth and their families. In addition to leading the Jerry Garcia Chapter of the American GI Forum, she volunteered her time and resources to create opportunities for veterans, their families, and youth in the Omaha community.
In 2017, Marian’s family created a scholarship to celebrate her memory and help deserving Latino youth get the resources they need to go to college and pursue their dreams. The $2,500 scholarship, supported by MENTOR Nebraska, is given annually to an Omaha high school senior who demonstrates community involvement, work and leadership experience, and a strong passion to attend college. The recipient also has a mentoring relationship with a caring adult who has helped them along the way.
MENTOR Nebraska and the Martinez family are thrilled to announce that the recipient of the 2020 Marian Martinez Scholarship is Joseline Albeno. Joseline is a proud 2020 graduate of Omaha North High Magnet School and is currently double majoring in Education and English at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Joseline’s passion to help people through education and literature was influenced by the mentors in her life, including her high school English teacher Sheila Connor. “Because of Ms. Connor and all the great teachers in my life, I decided to become a teacher and carry on their legacy,” said Joseline. “I am extremely grateful to have Ms. Connor in my life, and one day I hope to teach by her side. After college, I plan on coming back to my high school to give back to the Omaha Public Schools community.”
“I consider myself an advocate for the Latinx community, just like Marian Martinez,” said Joseline. “I was the only Hispanic student in my school's newspaper, which made me feel like I needed to give a voice to my Latinx community. I not only helped advocate for Hispanics through my writing, but I also used my free time to help immigrant Spanish speaking students manage high school. I would go to the English as a Second Language (ESL) room and offered my help to the students who could only speak Spanish, and then helped them with their homework. I love what I can offer to the Latinx community because of my background, and that is why I represent Marian Martinez' vision. She spent her days giving back to her community, and I aspire to be just like her.”
To donate to the Marian Martinez Fund, please donate online or send a check to MENTOR Nebraska c/o Marian Martinez Scholarship Fund: 1111 N 13th Street #126, Omaha, NE 68102. All donations are tax deductible and will be acknowledged.
The deadline to apply for the 2021 scholarship is May 1.