Martha Camarillo was already a young wife, mom, full-time employee and volunteer in her community. But college student? That just seemed like too much.
“Getting a college degree as an adult with a family and a toddler seemed overwhelming. I didn’t want to give up anything, so I did it all,” Martha says. “‘Juggler’ is what I became and it always surprised me at the end of the semesters how many novels I read or how many essays I wrote.”
The adjustment wasn’t easy. In fact, it was the great unknown for Martha’s family. Because she was the first and only high school graduate in her family attempting to go to college, they weren’t quite sure how to help or support her.
“My role of traditional wife and mom had shifted and it took a bit of adjustment for everyone to get used to ‘student mom,’” she said. “Navigating through college as a young person is difficult enough, but as an adult with responsibilities it was a daunting challenge.”
Martha forged ahead, working in Richland College’s School of World Languages, Cultures and Communications and taking classes at the same time. She earned an associate degree from Richland and then transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish.
She took it another step further and added a Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University to her list of accomplishments. It should come as no surprise that pursuing a Ph.D. is in Martha’s future plans.
Today, Martha works for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan and is responsible for marketing and outreach in North Texas. She volunteers extensively in the community, including at Richland College.
“Martha is always available to help students at Richland, whether it is participating on a panel for my classes, serving as a mentor or helping students find scholarship opportunities,” says her nominator, Kay Coder.
Martha says, “Richland College has a very special place in my heart because my Thunderduck family was and continues to be supportive in my learning journey.”