Coral Gables High senior Roxana Martinez doesn’t have an easy life. Martinez’s family emigrated from Cuba to Florida when Martinez was very young. They settled in Miami but a few years later decided to move to Spain to be with family. However, after leaving everything behind in Miami, they had difficulty finding jobs in Spain.
We had to leave Spain,” she said.
Eventually they decided to move back to Miami.
“When we came back, we lost everything,” she said.
That included their home. A family member who was supposed to take care of the house didn’t keep up with the mortgage payments. Not long after they returned, they had to move and ended up in the Gables school district.
The situation meant that Martinez had to help her mother clean homes and offices to support the family. Even now, she still helps her mother clean offices a couple days a week.
“She goes to work when I’m in school, but in the afternoon she has offices [to clean] and I go with her,” Martinez said. “Work ends as late as 8 p.m.”
Despite having to help support the family, Martinez maintains a strong grade point average while taking gifted, Advanced Placement and dual enrollment classes. She is in the law section of the Health, Law and Public Service Academy and has taken law for four years. However, she is not considering law as a career.
“I’m thinking of becoming a dermatologist or doing something having to do with [solving] crimes, like a forensic scientist,” she said.
At one point she was considering a career in accounting because she likes math, but after taking an accounting class her sophomore year, she decided that was not the right career for her.
Martinez is hoping to go to Florida International University or the University of Miami.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld