Hometown: Hialeah, Florida
School: University of Florida
Major: Political Science and Public Relations
Placement: Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Jessica Martinez was born and raised in Hialeah, Florida – a predominantly Hispanic city where almost every interaction happens in Spanish. She is the daughter of two hard-working immigrants from Cuba who never failed to remind her she could do anything she wanted if she set her mind to it. From a young age, Jessica discovered a love for politics and her father nurtured that interest by engaging her in conversations on the subject.
Jessica graduated from the University of Florida in April 2022 with a B.A. in Political Science and B.S. in Public Relations. During her time at the University of Florida (UF), she was heavily involved in the first-generation community serving as the president of the First-Generation Organization. Jessica was the student assistant for the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars office, a scholarship program that provides a full ride to select first-generation, low-income students attending the University of Florida. She was not only a recipient of this scholarship but also served as a mentor for the program and helped first-year, first-generation students transition into life at UF. In the future, she wants to pay forward all the opportunities she was afforded and serve as an advocate for education reform, particularly in higher education. She would like to create her own nonprofit centered on ensuring first-generation success.
As a CHCI Intern, she hopes to challenge herself and learn more about the legislative process so she can make room for others like her.