Campus & Community

International student with a passion to help others selected as student trustee

Less than a year ago, Lorena Martin Reyes was living in her hometown of Madrid, Spain having just graduated high school from IES Mariana Pineda.

Now a Palm Beach State College Dr. Floyd F. Koch Honors College student, she is enjoying a new life in the United States, living with her aunt, uncle and cousins in Lake Worth, and juggling many responsibilities.

One of those is to represent the student body as PBSC’s newly selected student trustee for the 2022-23 academic year.

Chosen for the role out of nine candidates who interviewed for the position, Martin Reyes is the College’s 22nd student trustee. On Aug. 9, she will represent PBSC’s student body at her first District Board of Trustees meeting in Lake Worth.

She applied for the opportunity because she felt a deep calling to help others succeed.

“As student trustee, I want to convince my fellow students that they are capable of anything, inspire them to level up, and encourage them to take advantage of what they have in front of them and make the most of it,” said Martin Reyes, who is pursuing an Associate in Arts degree. “I want to serve as a best friend for PBSC students, one that would make their college experience as enriching as possible, recognizing their work and advocating for their needs, doubts, and interests sincerely and with respect.”

Martin Reyes credits her success to learning responsibility at a young age taking care of her mother who was diagnosed with delicate health issues.

“I had to mature fast in order to help her,” Martin Reyes said. “Because of this, she is now delighted and supportive that I am pursuing my dreams in America.”

In her short time at PBSC, Martin Reyes has become president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Inter-Club Council liaison for the Student Government Association, secretary for the Honors Students Advisory Council, and is a member of PBSC’s District Diversity Council and Return to Campus Task Force. She also works part time in the Honors College as a student assistant.

“Lorena successfully completed my Honors College composition 2 course in spring 2022, where she demonstrated that her English language fluency is excellent, her research skills are exceptional, and her digital literacy and critical thinking are above her peers,” said Associate Professor Robin Fiedler in a letter nominating Martin Reyes for the role. “With all her commitments, she sought my feedback to improve her composition and research skills. Her thirst for knowledge, desire to improve and succeed at extra curricula activities as well as academics are rarely seen in first-year students.”

Martin Reyes first came to the United States to learn English and complete ninth grade at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va. When she returned home to Madrid, her goal was to come back to obtain a college degree.

“I have always admired the education system in the United States and knew that if you worked hard here, you would be awarded with many opportunities,” said Martin Reyes. “I not only want to get a great education to make my family proud but to obtain the instruments and power to provide low-income students like me access to a higher education that will transform their lives.” “I believe education is one of the most powerful tools we can have as human beings.”

One of Martin Reyes goals as the new student trustee is to advocate for the institution’s multicultural community and connect PBSC with the rest of the world to keep expanding students’ opportunities. She dreams about opening a nongovernmental organization one day to support disadvantaged students who wish to attend college.

After PBSC, she hopes to pursue a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations with a concentration in political science and law.

Martin Reyes feels very fortunate to have been selected as student trustee. She thanks her family and friends for supporting her journey and the entire PBSC community for giving her these opportunities.

“Thanks to PBSC, it will be possible to achieve my dream of improving individuals’ lives.”

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