Dulce Martinez - Define American

Dulce Martinez

Brooklyn, NY

I graduated from BMCC in June of 2017 with a Science Early Childhood Education with a specialization Infants / Toddlers degree. In the present I graduated from the City College of New York, I studied a BA of Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration on Disabilities Studies. I was born in Puebla Mexico, half of my life I lived in Mexico and since 2001 I’ve been residing in Brooklyn New York.

This is my third year working as an Assistant Program and mentor for the IMPACT (Inspiring and Motivating People to Achieve College Together) and Futuros (College Readiness Achievement and Retention) Mentoring programs at The Borough of Manhattan Community College in partnership to The Hispanic Federation. I work 20 hours per week, and I have worked with 15-20 students in 2017 at BMCC. I am now a staff member who assist incoming mentors to our program. I feel that I have grown and learned so much from meaningful experiences working with incoming Latino/Hispanic and black students.

I have participated on important initiatives that can positively transmit guidance, prosperity and justice to the Latino/Hispanic and other underrepresented groups. This is the second year that our programs partner with Forward Us organization and make To Immigrants with Love Day of Action, I stand with Immigrants a reality. I have joined advocacy trips to Albany and Washington to push a legislation that can grant undocumented immigrants’ opportunities like the DREAM ACT are some chances that I have taken and hopefully inspire others.

Despite my own challenges I have gone through, been a DACAmented student, my role as a young Mexican Immigrant woman and mom of two. In the Peer Mentoring training each semester we educate ourselves to better serve our community of students at BMCC, we indeed receive a Mental health training and I am glad I did a concentration on Disabilities studies this past spring semester to also better serve students with special needs. Thanks to my experiences getting to know others struggles, I feel empower and we all have transcended in the face of adversity.

In the place I work, I feel like it’s a space of hope and support for the underrepresented Immigrant population as I have met wonderful personalities that have lighted my path towards a better future. The BMCC student population, especially the Immigrant community face socioeconomically obstacles every day, this is an issue that affects their performance. On February of 2018, I had the opportunity to delegate on To Immigrants with Love Awareness day at BMCC. Successfully, together, the Student Government Association, club members and diverse BMCC community members gathered together to support this cause. We sent a message of love to the Immigrant community on these rough times. This event represented a valuable moment for Allies and to the Immigrant community members, nationwide. To be leading such a good cause brought happiness to my life. I also have participated in the Domestic violence awareness day at BMCC, coming from a family where I experience domestic violence is meaningful to me. In one of my classes in 2018, author Dee Watts Jones on his article said, “When I refer to racism, I mean the institutionalized emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and social policy practices that assume and/or promote the cultural, biological, and socioeconomic superiority of people of European descent…I liken it to a worldwide, airborne virus; one that is far more potent than prejudice.” This made me think, racist actions immigrants face to fit the process of belonging or fitting into what is classified as “American” have led immigrants to question themselves belonging or not belonging. In the same tone, aspects of Autism diagnoses may be sensitive and complex for families of diverse cultural backgrounds. Sometimes, after families discovered the diagnosis of their love one, results in difficulty to assimilate the situation, it becomes an emotional painful and traumatic experience. Therefore, some families are in denial to accept any incoming support from the agency or any other type of help. For example, all parents react differently when finding out that their family member has a disability. Some parents might show a big magnitude of resistance because of fear that society or close family members would label their child relying on stigmatized ideologies. As a community we can help this families to get motivated and hopefully get involve in different activities and to socialize with others to make special connections that will enhance their lifestyles.

We currently live in a world where we can find access to anything easily, some examples of things we have easy access are, fast food, clothing, supermarkets, pharmacies, malls, bars, you name it. If we stop and analyze the type of environment we live in, we can be very surprised. Through the time we have contributed to pollution, global warming, and us as a society we are becoming isolated within our own families, many of us including myself have constantly spending much more time working and multitasking that constantly we forgot to practice self-care. Just to remark something important, at locations where there are services available for families, sometimes families are not aware of entitlement to services, or specialized support services offer for children diagnosed with autism and their families or undocumented Immigrants getting the right legal service. My goal as a professional and citizen of this country is to connect families how spaces where they feel loved and care because this is to be an American to me, where all people build and work together in a environment where our families would feel welcome and accepted for who they are.

Let's Talk

It's time for a new conversation about immigration in America, and it starts with us.

More Stories

Natalie Tankersley: #HomeIsHere

Maryville, TN

Natalie Tankersley: #HomeIsHere

Yoshua Martinez Gomez: #HomeIsHere

Maryville, TN

Yoshua Martinez Gomez: #HomeIsHere

Malcolm Neale: #HomeIsHere

Cleveland, OH

Malcolm Neale: #HomeIsHere

Frida Aguilera de la Torre: #HomeIsHere

Lincoln, NE

Frida Aguilera de la Torre: #HomeIsHere

Desiree Castorena: #HomeIsHere

Lubbock, TX

Desiree Castorena: #HomeIsHere