Grad Speaker hopes to inspire confidence



Amarillo College officials have selected Christie Martinez, an education major, as the graduation speaker for the fall commencement ceremony being held Dec. 16 at the Amarillo Civic Center.

“I’m so honored to be chosen to be the commencement speaker,” Martinez said. “If you had told the third-grade me that I would be giving the commencement speech one day, I would have called you a ‘liar, liar, pants on fire!’ I’m excited to tell my AC story and celebrate everyone that supported me and poured into me. People like Margarita Rocha, Rochelle Fouts, David Pertl, Courtney Milleson and so many more.”

Martinez said her love for people has gotten her to where she is today. “I have been involved on campus and made many connections developing relationships,” she said. “I’m confident in going to the people in charge, like Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart or Denese Skinner, to ask for things I need to be successful. If I see something I want or need, I ask for it. People notice when you are passionate about your education and making things happen on campus.”

Martinez has been involved in many campus activities, most notably, Teach Club and the Blue Blazers.

“Christie stood out to me last academic year as a very involved club member for Teach Club,” Cassie Montgomery, director of outreach services and Blue Blazers sponsor, said.  “When she asked me what Blue Blazers was, I thought she was just curious. Ten minutes later, she was handing me an application because she was excited for an opportunity to give back to AC. Since starting as a Blue Blazer in the Fall 2022 semester, she has learned so much about the college and has humbly shared that knowledge with everyone she meets.”

Being involved in different clubs helped Martinez find like-minded people to surround herself with. “We met through Teach Club,” Christy Garza, an education major, said. “When she first joined, she was pretty reserved, and as the year went on, she really blossomed. She is one of the best friends I have ever had, and is always willing to go above and beyond.”

After starting at AC, Martinez said her confidence in herself and her intelligence improved. This drives her to succeed and prove to herself that she can do what she sets her mind to. She will continue her education at Texas Woman’s University next semester, and will eventually be teaching in her own classroom.

“I want to change how young students view themselves when they struggle academically,” said Martinez. “I want them to have hope and confidence in their futures. I don’t want them to allow their struggles to determine who they become or how big they dream.”

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