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Summer scholarships helping Pima Community College students

Pima Community College student
Posted at 8:27 AM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 11:27:19-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — For Blanca Martinez, going to college has always been a dream.

"Between my sister and my cousin, they asked, 'Why don't you do it?,'" said Martinez.

At age 37, she took a leap of faith and became the first in her family to enroll in college.

"It doesn't hurt to at least give it a shot and see how much you can accomplish or what you can do with it," said Martinez.

Martinez is taking classes at Pima Community College with an already full plate. She's a single mom, caretaker for her mother and works a full-time job.

"My focus has always been on them first. This is a step for me...trying to do something for myself," said Martinez.

Like many, Martinez worried about how she would afford to attend school. That problem was quickly solved when one of her professors nominated her for a scholarship that would pay for summer tuition.

"I hope that all of our students, and future students, are able to see something like this and maybe be inspired by Blanca's story. She never thought that college was for her," said Pima Community College Department Head for Health Information Technology, Kelly O'Keefe.

The Pima Foundation has distributed over $350,000 in scholarships throughout the 2021-2022 school year.

For Martinez, the help is an opportunity to build a better life.

"We have enough. We have what we need. I want to have more for my family," said Martinez.