Completing a bachelor’s degree while working full-time is in itself a difficult undertaking, but Rosa Martinez ’14 was also pregnant and working full-time - and she still managed to finish her degree at night through Merrimack’s Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program. She now holds a Bachelor of Science in Child, Family and Community Studies.
“I was lucky because the professors at Merrimack were able to accommodate me throughout my high risk pregnancy in 2012 and the birth of my daughter in 2013,” says Rosa. “The last year attending classes at night was so helpful. I was able to keep my full-time job, pick up my daughter from the provider, and wait until my husband came home so that I could attend school. The only possible way I could have finished my degree was by attending classes at night.”
Rosa – like many of her peers in the Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program – has made large sacrifices to finish her degree. “At the beginning of my bachelor degree program, it was easier for me to attend work and then school, but then I made the decision to send my son back to my home country [Dominican Republic] with my mom in order for me to be able to finish my education. I have no family in Lawrence (MA) - they are in Dominican Republic and New York.”
Rosa has had a long-time dream of becoming a teacher and has worked her way up to accomplish that goal. She started as an assistant teacher in Head Start in Lawrence, MA, became a toddler teacher and then a preschool teacher, and now she is an Education Supervisor for the program.
“Since I was a young girl I used to pretend I was a teacher,” says Rosa. “I just love children and I enjoy watching them.”
Rosa is currently enrolled in the Master of Education in Community Engagement degree program at Merrimack, where she plans to gain as much knowledge as possible to help her community and further support her role in education.