Noah Martinez is a 2018 alumni of IDEA Carver College Prep in San Antonio, Texas. After attending eight different public schools in the San Antonio area, Noah found a supportive community of scholars and teachers that instilled a college-going identity in him at IDEA Public Schools. Thanks to the generosity of IDEA supporters, Noah received a college scholarship from IDEA that allowed him to achieve his college dreams of becoming the first in his family to make it to and through college. Read his story on the impact his scholarship made on making his dream a reality:
Outstanding students from across IDEA Public Schools have earned their places at great universities across the country — but they need your help to get there. The past two years have created growing and insurmountable financial gaps for these IDEA college-bound students from low-income communities. The need for scholarships and student aid is more crucial than ever, especially for students like me, who count on scholarships to be able to attend college. As an alumnus of IDEA Public Schools, I am truly grateful for the generosity of IDEA supporters. The scholarship support I receive from IDEA has allowed me to remain on track to achieve my dream of becoming the first in my family to make it to and through college.
Growing up in a low-income, single-parent household with two younger siblings was difficult, but my mom imparted to us the value of hard work and education. When I began struggling academically in middle school, my mom was determined to find a different learning environment where I could thrive. That’s when she enrolled me in IDEA Public Schools.
Those first few months as a freshman at IDEA Carver College Preparatory were challenging. I was behind academically and rebelled against the rigor and high expectations. It was when my teachers began investing consistent one-on-one time with me, and Saturday school days began, that I first appreciated my new school and believed that I could go to college.
Every day, I was immersed in a community of people who rooted for me to succeed, from teachers to school custodians to the cafeteria team. At IDEA, I had the opportunity to visit universities across the country –including Texas A&M University, University of San Diego, and Georgetown University – to learn more about selecting a college and the ins and outs of college life. When college application time came around my senior year, it was because of the exposure IDEA gave me to college campuses that I knew exactly where I wanted to apply. But I could no longer ignore my financial reality.
Not many people knew it when I was in high school, but I worked two jobs to help support my family. My mom could not afford my college tuition, so I knew my dream of becoming a first-generation college student was going to take a financial miracle. With the help of my IDEA college counselor, I discovered and applied for many scholarships. I knew that every dollar would make a difference. When my college acceptance emails started rolling in, I was so excited, but I knew I needed at least one full-ride scholarship for college to be a real possibility. To my surprise, I was offered three four-year scholarships. However, my family and I still worried about how I would cover additional immediate college expenses like a laptop, textbooks, and my first month’s rent. Thanks to the help of the scholarship I received from IDEA, I was able to cover these expenses and am on track to graduate from a four-year college.
There are thousands of IDEA students facing the same or more severe financial challenges right now. It only takes a few minutes to make a college dream come true! Consider a monthly gift and make a difference all year long.