San Marcos,
21:22 PM

Graduate Spotlight: Echoing Si Se Puede

By David Ogul

There are certain dates that will forever be ingrained in the memory of Jose Nunez Martinez. January 24, 2004, is when he arrived in San Diego aboard a Greyhound bus after emigrating from a small, impoverished town in the Mexican state of Guerrero. November 17, 2009, is when he became a United States citizen.

And on May 16, 2015, Jose will receive his bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Cal State San Marcos, becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college.

“It is a dream come true,” said Jose, who is already working as a sales representative for Primerica and has plans to return to CSUSM for his teaching credential. “My parents always wanted a better future for us.”

That better future came through perseverance, a family that doesn’t believe in quitting, and devoted faculty and staff at CSUSM.

“Mr. Martinez is very dedicated to school,” said Joe LeDesma, a coordinator and advisor with TRIO Student Support Services, a program that offers guidance and academic counseling to about 200 students from first-generation, low-income and disability backgrounds. “He’s had some challenges but he has overcome them. He’s a determined young man and it was important for him to get an education as a first generation college student.”