Martin Ledezma is a former Upward Bound participant and a current Junior at AppState, studying Secondary Education with a concentration in Chemistry.
Please talk a little about your background prior to attending Appalachian.
Life has been good to me. I was born in Mexico. I lived there for twelve years before coming to the U.S. Moving to the U.S. was very challenging but quite interesting. It was difficult because of the language, but there were many teachers who supported me while learning the language. Middle school was where I struggled the most but high school was different: that was the place where my dream about going to college started.
What dreams for your life and career do you have?
I'm majoring in Chemistry secondary education, so I plan to be a teacher and help other students who might be in the same situation that I was in.
What obstacles are in your way (relative to achieving these dreams)?
I think that we as humans like to think that there are obstacles in our lives academically and personally. I don't see obstacles as obstacles but as lessons where we can learn and be better as humans. As of now there aren't many except that I have to do well in all of my classes to graduate and get my degree. I also have improve my English.
What resources have you had access to that have helped you overcome those obstacles?
The most important thing is that there has to be motivation to do whatever you do. I have had a lot of support from my family. There are also programs that I'm involved in and all the people who are connected to those programs. With all of this support I see obstacles as challenges that I have to accomplish.
What role has the Upward Bound program played in your journey through education?
Being in the Upward Bound program was the best I could ever ask for. If it wasn't for this wonderful program, I would probably not be doing anything at all. Having all the support of all of the coordinators is what gave me the strength to apply to college and be someone in life: Someone who is happy with their job!
What inspirational advice would you give to someone who is facing difficulty achieving his/her goals and dreams?
Giving up is the worst thing someone could ever do. Know that after the storm there is peace. Work hard on your dreams and life will smile at you!