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Growing up in San Luis Potosi City, Mexico, and moving to the United States his sophomore year of high school, Erick Bernal Martinez put stress on the word ‘prepare’. Martinez began his college career at Ivy Tech with the goal to complete a four-year computer science degree at IUPUI. To ensure the proper courses were transferred, Martinez found solace in Tenille Bullock, computer science advisor, a year before attending. Bullock provided the code to Martinez—all he had to do was run the program and prepare for the outcome.

Martinez was constantly busy—a degree was the end goal that he prepared endlessly for. Once a transfer at IUPUI, Martinez was offered the Norman Brown Scholarship which he readily accepted. Money was less of a worry, helping leave behind the 50- to 60-hour work week he was clocking to help pay for college. Martinez started investing his time in internships at Eli Lilly, the Norman Brown Scholarship program, research with computer and information technology faculty Feng Li and Xiao Luo, and campus involvement.

“They’re investing in the people of tomorrow that will be prominent figures in their industry, but also that have invested in their community and give back to their roots,” Martinez said about the Norman Brown Scholarship.

Martinez thanks Ivy Tech for making him comfortable with speaking up when there was a concept he couldn’t quite figure out during class. Attending Ivy Tech helped his transition to a larger campus and student body. Putting himself out there, Martinez joined the Computer Science Club and found a sense of community.

“All over IUPUI everyone is very friendly and approachable,” Martinez stated.