High school graduate brings self-knowledge to college Jacqueline Martinez, 18, is attending New York University, likely the first-ever student at Pescadero High to have enrolled at NYU. She lives in a dorm with strangers, and goes to class in a city where she didn’t know a soul at the beginning of the semester. Life changed for Martinez the first summer she enrolled in the Puente Youth Program as a high school freshman. Puente took her group on educational field trips to destinations like San Francisco’s Mission District and to visit Google headquarters. “I found myself fascinated by the different people and cultures I saw.” That was her first ‘aha’ moment, but it led to many others. “Those experiences are what nudged me to challenge myself more and take the initiative to do more, to find a way to take more steps out of my town,” she says. Martinez got to know her high school social studies teacher, Mr. Robinson. He arranged for Martinez to apply for a fellowship from the Half Moon Bay Order of Odd Fellows to attend the United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth. Ultimately, Martinez received a full scholarship to visit the United Nations headquarters in New York, along with hundreds of other students from around the world. That trip was when the second ‘lightbulb’ moment dawned. She realized she liked New York. At high school graduation, Martinez received special recognition as class salutatorian, for having earned the second-highest GPA. She also received the Golden State Seal of Merit Diploma. A Puente donor then provided Martinez with a $5,000 scholarship. In the past year, Puente leveraged $88,000 in scholarships for local college students. $88,000 in scholarships 16