Almuna inspires at 11th Annual Empowering Lives

Jacob WaringOnline Editor

Almuna, Cin Martinez was the keynote speaker at the 11th Annual Empowering Lives where she spoke about her life story.

Dian BrownAlbert, coordinator of Multicultural Student Activities, said Martinez was chosen due to her relative age to current students and her unique career path.

“We selected her also because of her career path. We haven’t done anything with theater before,” Brown-Albert said.

Chelsey Cerrato, the president of the Organization of Latin American Students, gave panegyric remarks in regard to Martinez’s. Cerrato gave a brief rundown on the milestones in Martinez’s life and spoke on some of her accomplishments within her theater career. Cerrato also touched on current and future projects that Martinez is currently working on.

The recapitulation of Martinez by Cerrato had provided context to the substance that Martinez elaborated upon in her own keynote speech.

“Do the best you can, strategize, be a team player, communicate beyond the use of words, pay attention and celebrate your wins,” said social work major, Destiny Ortiz, a sophomore, who said she related to Martinez’s life story due to being Hispanic herself.

“So, listening to anyone’s stories makes me want to be a better a person to the Latin community,” said Ortiz.

She said she was impressed by the keynote speech and that she felt they both had a lot in common as individuals.

“We’re both Hispanic, we went to the same high school and I felt like me and her have the same goals,” Ortiz said. “Makes me want to grow as a person.”

Communication major Liliana Ramirez, a sophomore said Martinez being a former Owl, gave her inspiration.

“It was inspiring. It was nice to see [Martinez] graduated from this school was able to do [the event],” Ramirez said, “It kind of gives you hope that you can do the same.”

“Don’t take no for an answer, always dream big and work hard for what you want and you will be able to make it possible,” Ramirez said. Martinez said her number one propriety with her keynote address was to make sure young people are able to make decisions a bit easier and learn to lean on others to navigate this world.

“When you are trying to figure out life as a young person, especially as a young person of color, it can feel very weighted,” said Martinez. “It can feel like you’re going against water, which you’re having to navigate. I think that if someone can say: What are some ways to make it a little bit easier for you to figure things out?”

Brown-Albert said she felt that Martinez’s life story was inspirational for students in the Latinx community.

She also said her story was uplifting in nature and one where Southern student can relate to on various levels.

“For her to be where she is [today], you would have to make many sacrifices,” she said. “Throughout her story, students can relate — I can relate.”

Photo credit: Jacob Waring

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