As the weeks tick down to his graduation day, Martinez-Medina easily identified where his inspiration to achieve the high academic honor lies. In reflection of his hard work, he said his parents are ultimately the ones who deserve the award.
“I will be really proud (to be named Valedictorian), but the main reason I do this is my parents because they have sacrificed a lot for me,” Martinez-Medina said. “I think this would be a good way to repay them, and to get this honor would be a way for me to show them that their hard work was definitely worth it. I would love to get it, but I would love even more to get it because my parents would be really happy. That is my main reason for doing all this.”
Martinez said the “dream” began during his eighth grade year at Mendive Middle School when he said becoming Valedictorian was more “an illusion” than a reality. Now that he has amassed countless AP and Honors credits at Reed, along with tenure in National Honor Society and the Academic Olympic team, he said putting in the extra work was worth it.
“I seem to manage my time really well,” he said. “There are some times when there is a lot of load on you, and sometimes you get mad and sometimes you’re fine with it. Most of all, my organization with time has helped me a lot. I honestly gave up a lot of the things I used to do. I used to fool around a lot and play video games, and now I have no time for that unless it is the weekend and even then sometimes there is no time for it.
“In the end, it always feels good when you are done with your work. You always get that satisfactory feeling at the end. It’s always worth it. A video game you can play forever, but this is a one-time thing and it would be really cool to get it (Valedictorian).”
Martinez-Medina said intense study sessions for Academic Olympics and volunteering around Sparks for the National Honor Society keeps him busy, but he plans to tack on one more volunteering opportunity before he graduates. Beginning this month he will be helping coach soccer at Agnes Risley Elementary School in Sparks, which is an opportunity he believes “will be a really fun time.”
Martinez-Medina said he plans to continue living in Sparks following graduation when he will attend the University of Nevada, Reno to study Biology. He said even though many of the people around him want to head out of state for college, he knows UNR is the right fit.
“I feel people give UNR a bad name and I know it is a good school,” he said. “I have researched their science programs and their medical school is really great. It’s home and I think that is a great thing. You don’t have to leave your family and you can go to a great school so you might as well do it.”
His love for biology also began in the eighth grade when he realized his knack for science in general. He said becoming a doctor is his ultimate goal where he feels his specialty could be as an Obstetrician Gynecologist, citing his fascination for the “beauty of birth” as the deciding factor.
“I am astonished by how much science has advanced these days and I think it would be really cool to become a part of that,” he said. “Becoming a doctor would be really cool because you get to help a bunch of people and provide a service that is helpful to others.
“I feel most likely I will become an obstetrician gynecologist because I have a thing for the beauty of birth and I think that is an amazing thing and it would be great to be a part of that. I am fascinated by (birth) and I could help take care of two of the most important things in our world, which are women and babies.”