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First-generation opportunities fuel desire to help

Florida Polytechnic University admissions counselor and graduate student Karla Martinez travels throughout the state to help high school students decide whether the STEM-focused school is the right fit for them.

When Karla Martinez was only 7, her parents decided to leave their home in Hidalgo, Mexico, and settle in Lake Wales, Florida, to open their world to new opportunities. Martinez excelled in school and grew passionate about science and technology, but when it was time to start applying to universities, she was at a loss for where to begin.