From Ohio to South Texas College
Student of the Week: Jonathan Gabriel Martinez
“Attending medical school is one of my life goals so I ended up transferring from Ohio State to South Texas College. I saw an advertisement when I was driving down here that said, ‘Free tuition’… I thought, ‘Why not give it a chance?’ So, I took a couple of classes and loved it.”
South Texas College student Jonathan Gabriel Martinez was born in Argentina and raised in Ohio. It was his dream of becoming a doctor that brought him to South Texas.
Martinez, 26, first considered pursuing an education in Texas after a friend from Ohio told him about his experience of being accepted to medical school at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Inspired by his friend, Martinez began looking up Texas colleges online and saw that STC was one of the most affordable.
“Attending medical school is one of my life goals so I ended up transferring from Ohio State to South Texas College,” Martinez said. “I saw an advertisement when I was driving down here that said, ‘Free tuition.’ This was two summers ago, and it said STC was offering $1,700 to students. I thought, ‘Why not give it a chance?’ So, I took a couple of classes and loved it.”
Martinez said he has always wanted to attend medical school and enter the health care profession.
“I’ve always been curious about medicine,” Martinez said. “I’ve always been interested in why things happen, and I love to figure out why it happens to certain people. I like puzzles, basically. I love challenges - I live for challenges. And, I believe the more educated you are, the more opportunities you have to pursue. That is relevant to any career a student chooses. The more educated you are, the better opportunities and more doors that open. You also end up becoming a role model for some people.”
Martinez is currently co-enrolled at STC and UTRGV, so he simultaneously attends classes at both campuses. His STC credits transfer to UTRGV to count toward his graduation requirements.
“I take different classes here to save money,” Martinez said. “It helps with my budgeting and also gives me course options and scheduling flexibility.”
Martinez said he appreciates “the warm culture of South Texas,” and friendliness that he always heard about while growing up.
“People are really friendly here. Coming from Ohio, it took some getting used to, but I love it,” Martinez said. “And people are also very helpful at STC. There are a lot of tutoring services both here at Mid-Valley and at the Pecan campus. It helps out quite a lot.”
Martinez began giving back to the Mid-Valley campus by tutoring classmates at the library.
“It’s my first time tutoring so it feels different giving directions instead of receiving them,” Martinez said. “It started after some of his classmates needed help with science and math, and I’m strong in those subjects. Some of my friends who are nursing majors told me I was good at tutoring, so I gave it a shot.”
Martinez said he also enjoys the variety of student life experiences at STC. Along with tutoring, he’s also a part of the Psychology Club and most recently attended the annual Family Reading Night at the Mid-Valley Library.
“I loved attending the Family Reading Night because we gave out free books and we also welcome people to the college,” Martinez said. “That doesn’t happen in Ohio, not often at all.”
Martinez is happy with his decision to move to South Texas, and encourages prospective students to take their time exploring what STC has to offer.
“If you’re graduating high school and are indecisive about what to major in, I say to take it one class at a time,” Martinez said. “It’s not a race. You don’t want to take five classes at once and barely pass them – you want to succeed.”