Ana Martinez is an Education Student at Mount St. Joseph University and the Bilingual Parent Liaison At Princeton City Schools.

Mount St. Joseph News



Student Q&A:


The Mount:


1. What program are you in at the Mount and what is your expected graduation year?

I am in the School of Education, I will be graduating in May 2024 with a bachelor's degree in Educational Studies and in May 2025 I will be graduating with a master's degree in Special Education.


2. Why did you decide to come to the Mount?

I am part of the Be the Change Program which is sponsored by my employer. They have a partnership with Mount St. Joseph University which helped me come to the Mount as an adult and finish my education.


3. What inspired you to pursue a degree in education?

I am very passionate about what I do, I love working and helping my community. As an ESL student, I struggled and the lack of knowledge about the US Education system made it really hard for me. I encountered many challenges that I believe with my knowledge and experience I can help other parents/students overcome or avoid. An education will give me the tools I need to help others achieve their education goals and education needs.


4. What has been your favorite aspect of the School of Education program at MSJ?

The personal guidance, the acknowledgment I have received from the team working with me, especially my college advisor. She took the time to know me not only as a student but as a person, she understands me and values me. She meets me where I am and gives me the tools I need to succeed in the classroom. I also love the personalized class schedule, the class schedule is accommodating to my needs as a full-time employee, mom, and wife. It is important to me that my class schedule meets my needs. My advisor makes sure that I am on a schedule to succeed.


5. Are there any Mount faculty/staff that have been pivotal in your journey at the Mount?

Laura Saylor has been an angel. Without her guidance, knowledge, and expertise I would have not been able to pursue my education dream. She has been instrumental in my education journey.


6. Why did you join the Be the Change Program?

I immigrated to the United States at the age of 17. It was a very challenging time for me and I did not speak the language. I was not able to attend college until I learned the language. Being a mom was my priority but I always wanted to go back to school and take classes which I did on my own. It was very hard to figure out classes and schedules. When I learned about the Be the Change Program at the Mount I figured that it was my time to finish my education and make my dream come true. As I mentioned earlier, I want to continue educating but to do that I need to put my education first.


7. What has been your favorite part of the Be the Change Program?

The support and the opportunity to earn my college degree with a community supporting me.


8. What is your goal post-graduation?

I am looking forward to continuing working within the education system. I am really looking forward to seeing what else I can bring to the table that will support the education journey of others.


Princeton City Schools:


2. As the Bilingual Parent Liaison, what do your duties include?

As a Bilingual Parent Liaison, I get to work with the entire district. I support the school, families, and community in many capacities. For the parents, I assist with the registration process, educate the families about school forms and expectations, help parents find resources they need, conduct home visits, and assist with interpretation during preschool evaluation for Special education service needs. I work with the students’ services department as needed, I support the curriculum department by translating communication letters and supporting academic programs/family engagement programs as needed. I organize and co-host our parent engagement meetings, 2nd Cup of Coffee, to educate and have open conversations with parents and community members. Most recently we started a Princeton Parent Academy for Parents of ESL students to educate families about the U.S. education system. Parents will learn a series of things such as their rights and responsibilities, school expectations, the importance of being active participants, being involved in their children's education, and leadership opportunities.


I am also the creator of the Hispanic Heritage Festival. We hosted our 2nd annual Hispanic Heritage Festival in Princeton City schools. It is an event open to all the communities and neighboring communities. This event intends to bring our communities together, learn from each other, and share our diverse cultures in our communities. It is also an opportunity for businesses and community organizations to share their services with the community, and educate the community about different topics of interest, like early literature, special education, health care, finances, college education, and opportunities that they offered to minority, etc. (Mount St. Joseph University was part of our 2nd HHF). We also bring authentic food vendors, craft, and Latino Hispanic music performances. It is a very fun event!


2. What is your favorite part of this role?

My favorite part is the connection made with the families and people in the community. I love learning about the different cultures and learning about the different skill sets we all have but are afraid to share. To bring that out of the people and see them shine in a very unique way is very rewarding for me.


Personal Life:


1. What brought you and your family to the USA from the Dominican Republic?

My mom and my dad immigrated to the US when I was 10 years of age. It was expected that we all were eventually going to immigrate and be together as a family. My parents decided to immigrate looking for a better economic position and brighter future.


2. What brought you to Cincinnati, OH?

My brother moved to Cincinnati first then after a few years 3 of my brothers were in Cincinnati. Once I became a mom they constantly told me that this was a great city to raise a family in. I decided to try it and I loved it. Been here in Cincinnati now for the last 18 years.


3. What are some things you like to do for fun in your free time?

There is so much I want to do, but for me personally, I love traveling, and crafting, but now I am learning that I may want to volunteer and help children after school or maybe host parents’ workshops.


4. What can the Mount and other institutions in Cincinnati do to better support our growing Hispanic populations?

I think it is more about educating the community about the resources and opportunities available to us. We need to know that the more educated we are the better we can do for our families. I think it is being out there being visible.