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Matthew Martinez


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Hello everyone, I am a single parent who wants to achieve more with my life to help provide and be a role model to my son—showing that it is never too late to accomplish your goals. Being an admitted transfer student and OWL (Older, Wiser, Learner) at UC Berkeley has allowed me to overcome my fears of being an older student. I have 24 years of working experience, and two failed attempts to obtain my AS/AA. I finally put it all together; getting my AS in Business Administration, my AA in Sociology, and transferring to UC Berkeley is one of my most significant accomplishments. I aim to continue my path and succeed at anything that comes my way.


University of California-Berkeley

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Sociology

Mt San Jacinto Community College District

Associate's degree program
2019 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Business Administration, Management and Operations
    • Sociology


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Student Counseling and Personnel Services
    • Sociology
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      Counselor at a Junior College

    • Manager of Business Administration

      2015 – 20238 years

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Alameda County Community Food Bank — Program Leader for Macy's in Hayward, Ca
      2021 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      Shepard's Pantry — Was a facilitator for the store I worked at Macy's
      2015 – 2020

    Future Interests




    Lost Dreams Awaken Scholarship
    Recovery is such an ominous word when linked back to someone recovering from substance or alcohol abuse. Still, when you recover from surgery or injury, we see “recovery” as something to strive for. Regardless of how you are in recovery, one thing you can count on is that you are never one hundred percent recovered. With an injury or surgery, you may not have the same mobility. The same is also valid for substance and alcohol abuse. You never fully recover from the effects, but learn how to move forward and live your life. I have found this to be confirmed as a recovering alcoholic. Realizing that you are an alcoholic is demoralizing, and it seems that you let your life get out of control. These were my feelings once I decided to seek help and start my recovery. It’s funny that most people think that when you stop drinking and go into recovery, it’s a magical pill that cures you. Only recovering people with an addiction understand that it is a day-to-day work in progress. Some days are easier than others, and other days, you wish for nothing but to find the end of a bottle. Recovery is more than something you get; it’s a lifestyle and a commitment to yourself every day not to pick up a drink or substance. It’s a commitment to the loved ones who have taken your recovery as their own. I am now seven years and counting sober.
    Trudgers Fund
    Growing up and hearing about how alcohol and drugs are addictive, you never really grasp the total gravity of what that means. For me, it was alcohol that I ultimately was addicted to, and it took me a few years to understand that I was an alcoholic. It took me even longer to say out loud that I was an alcoholic. From a few drinks on Fridays and Saturdays to drinking a minimum of 750ml of hard alcohol daily is what my life turned into. I had shots in the morning to get my day started and immediately drank when I got home from work till I would pass out. These actions are not something that I am particularly proud of, but they are part of who I am. Learning to take accountability for my actions, broken relationships, and the hostile work environment I was creating due to drinking helped me to seek help to kick this addiction. When alcohol consumes your life, it is challenging to keep yourself on any path that is not self-destructive. During my time as an alcoholic, I ruined relationships with family members and my personal life. It would happen more often when someone would confront me about my drinking or try to talk to me about seeking help with my addiction. I always remember saying, "It's just alcohol; I don't have a drinking problem; I like to drink, and I can control my drinking." Those words were just constructs to dismiss what was being told. I never wanted to hear from others about my drinking because I felt I didn't have a problem, so why talk to me about it? It wasn't until one morning I got sick, but the only thing that came up was alcohol and blood. At that moment, I knew what everyone told me was true. I remember calling my parents and telling them that I needed help with getting help with my drinking problem. Without their support and the help of some other family and friends, I would never have gone for treatment. I was enrolled in a detox program for two months and then into AA immediately after that. Thinking that I spent the better part of 10 years in an alcoholic stupor still makes me cringe. Over that period, I made things difficult for family and friends and endangered my life and the lives of others because I could not tell myself "NO" to alcohol. I am happy to say that I am twelve years sober and loving life. Coming out of my addiction has allowed me to achieve elevated management roles at work, find the love of my life, start a family, and go back to school to get my degree. I am a junior undergraduate at the University of California Berkeley, where I will obtain my degree in Sociology. I will also be looking at master's programs in counseling. I want to work at a junior college to help set up a program for older re-entry students with support and a safe space to interact and communicate with fellow older re-entry students. Assisting others in their time of need as others helped me during my time of need.
    Sacha Curry Warrior Scholarship
    To whom it may concern, My name is Matthew Martinez, and I am an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, a transfer student, an OWL (Older, Wiser, Learner), and a student parent. Before accepting my offer to UC Berkeley, I was a working professional in the retail industry. Coaching, developing, mentoring, and leading individuals is what I did for most of my career. Being a source of inspiration for someone to do more than they think they are capable of brings me joy. I have been someone that people come to for advice, help with an issue or guidance on life situations. A teacher does that, and I want to bring my experiences to the classroom to inspire young minds. Looking back and thinking about your experience with teachers and professors, it’s either great or terrible. You only hear about the ones that make an impact on students and the ones that are considered terrible at teaching. It can all be subjective whether a teacher or professor is not making a memorable impact on their students. I have learned throughout my years that development, leadership, and knowledge among workers are critical. The more time spent with them, the more information they are given, and allowing them to take the lead and make decisions is essential for success. This would be the same approach I would like to take inside the classroom. Qualifying students the opportunity to make decisions that impact how they move forward in life. This thought process is how we should teach our next generation of students and know that it will benefit them in the long term. A student is just a student unless you care enough to be part of their lives. They have many different dynamics within students’ families, school settings, social obligations, and the ever-looming guillotine of life awaiting them. Those of us lucky enough to become teachers should make impacts on them that are everlasting in a positive manner. Teachers’ insight should be engaging and dynamic by allowing students to ask “why.” We are letting them know that answers in life are not just black and white but many more varying shades of grey. Also, I do not have all the answers to all their questions, and they should seek out the answers. If we as teachers looked at students as opportunities to make critical connections rather than someone, we see for one year, semester, or quarter.