Name: Will Martinez
Hometown: Lilburn, GA
Major: Anthropology, Sociology minor
Extracurricular Activities: Residence Life, Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Emory’s First-Generation Low Income Partnership
Tameka: What five words to describe yourself?
Will: Eccentric, supportive, empathetic, adaptable, and energetic.
T: Who inspires you?
W: Those around me — particularly those who a college campus was not made for and who are having to face more obstacles than their more privileged counterparts.
T: How do you feel like you’ve grown since starting at Emory?
W: Emory has given me so many opportunities to grow as not only a student leader, but as a person. From being an SA, RA, CC, and RHD to a Tour Guide Fellow; participating in profession development opportunities like Intersections and a higher education conference, I have gained so many skills and connections because of Emory. I feel as though I have learned to strive to be more culturally humble and inclusive, and Emory challenges me in that all the time. From helping to create a cultural humility training for tour guides to helping to restructure our training and treatment of ResLife staff members of color, I have constantly been able to utilize the skills I have learned and apply them to the organizations I love and want to make better.
T: Looking back, what’s something you wish you had known? Anything you’d want to change about your experience?
W: I wish I had known the beauty of liberal arts earlier. While I have definitely taken my fair share of interdisciplinary classes, I wish I had known about the possibility of collaboration outside the classroom. I don’t necessarily think I would change anything about my experience. I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason, and I would not be here without my experiences and missed opportunities.
T: Once you graduate, what do you want your legacy to be?
W: I want to leave behind something that is sustainable and useful to students for generations to come. Something that made the Emory community better, but is more so tied to an organization rather than myself. For me, I could care less about the recognition, just the impact that I hope to have to make student’s lives a little easier, especially for the first-generation low income community and other marginalized groups. I want people to see that in Residence Life and Admissions, we are taking the steps to ensure culturally competent and humble individuals are being hired and trained in order to ensure that everyone feels welcomed. I want people to know FLIP as an organization that helped to support the food pantry, a textbook lending library, financial aid programming, community building, and the organization that created a graduation ceremony for the FLI community. My hope is that because of our initiatives, FLI students recognize that they belong, they can overcome imposter syndrome, and that they are loved and appreciated.