Evelyn Martinez was a leader in South Carroll High School's Diversity Committee, Spanish Club and FFA, where she helped animals and fellow students alike.
“She’s always looking for ways to serve the people around her,” said media specialist Kim Johnson who serves as the advisor for Diversity Committee.
Martinez’s ultimate goal is to become a veterinarian, and even an internship cleaning up many messes at the Mount Airy Animal Hospital didn’t scare her away from veterinary medicine.
“It was nice to work with animals. And I got to work with kittens a lot,” she said with a smile a few days before Friday night’s graduation ceremony.
The Diversity Committee is a relatively new student-run organization at the South Carroll and Martinez was one of the inaugural members. As a member, she helped to plan and run events at her school and with younger classes.
“We did food and culture day. It was really fun because we got to teach kids of all ages different cultures with food,” she said. “And people actually liked it, because you know, people love food.”
Another event was an assembly that she thought was particularly important in which people from the community shared their stories.
“I thought it was really important … to help enlighten people about things that they may not think that happened to people in our school, like rape, or sexual assault,” she said. “There were other stories that were just nice and kind. But it was nice to show people that these things that we see or hear about, they actually happen in our community. And it's not just like something that is so foreign.”
Though the members of the Diversity Committee were nervous, Martinez said everyone was respectful during the assembly.
Another event called the human library featured students sharing their stories, but in smaller groups.
Martinez helped people to write thank-you notes “that were more than just like ‘Thank you. That was cool,’ but more like ‘Thank you for sharing your story,’ telling them how it affected them, what they learned, because you know, it’s really brave to share your story. I wanted them to feel appreciated for what they did,” she said.
Johnson said that the skills Martinez learned dealing with the budgets and scheduling of school-wide events will serve her no matter what path she decides to take.
“She’s one who always steps in when there’s a need, even if it’s behind the scenes,” Johnson said. In facilitating the thank-you cards, “rather than being front and center, here, she is doing something that might be just for one other person.”
Martinez will start the fall semester at UMBC where she plans to study biochemistry and molecular biology.
She’s taken many chemistry classes over her years at South Carroll including AP Chemistry. Earning a good grade in that class was one of her proudest achievements.
Moving on, “I'm really going to miss seeing my friends every day because we're all going different places. One of my friends is even going to California for school,” she said.
The organization and structure of high school can be helpful, but at the same time, she said she is looking forward to the independence of college.
What would she tell a freshman just starting at South Carroll? First, to study and not to put off doing homework.
“You have to know that … even though you really want to watch a TV show or go hang out with your friends, you really have to prioritize,” she said. “I know I had a lot of trouble with that coming into high school since middle school is so easy. You can mess around and procrastinate, but then in high school, you can't really do that.”