When Martha graduated from Benito Juarez High School, the life-long Pilsen resident knew she wouldn’t be able to afford a four-year college, and wasn’t certain what she wanted to study. In her own words, she “needed to learn about myself. I didn’t know where I was headed, or what I wanted to do.”
She did some research and decided to take classes at Malcolm X College because it wasn’t far from home, it had a program in mortuary science that she was interested in, and she could take classes to figure out what direction she wanted to go.
Martha worked various jobs – at a thrift store, as an intern at a funeral home, for her neighborhood community council, and at a youth empowerment program – as she took classes part-time, and she graduated from Malcolm X College in 2015 with an Associate in General Studies.
Deciding to pursue a career based on her life-long passion for art, Martha transferred to Southern Illinois University. In May 2018, Martha graduated with her BA in Cinema and Photography and minors in philosophy and forensic science, allowing her to chase her dream of combining a love for storytelling, film production, and science into one career. Martha hopes to work with non-profit organizations to bring art education to underrepresented communities.
“CCC is a great way to start your journey after high school. My advice to new students is to meet with advisors, ask questions, and make connections with your teachers – take control of your education!”


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