Students First: Martinez is migrant success story

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At its most recent board meeting, the District School Board of Collier County paid tribute to some very special individuals who were recently honored with a Florida Exemplary Migrant Education Award. Over the next few weeks, we’ll share their stories of hard work, perseverance, and compassion. Let’s get to know Lucio Martinez—this year’s Migrant Success Story of the Year!

Lucio Martinez is a product of Collier County Public Schools. He graduated from Immokalee High School (IHS) in 2007 as the school’s Valedictorian. That same year, Lucio was also honored as the Migrant Scholar of the Year.

Lucio was raised in Immokalee with his parents as the oldest of four boys. His father has worked in agriculture in a variety of roles such as field worker, bus driver, truck driver (hauling produce to the packing house), packing house worker, and pin hooker. His father continues to migrate to this day following the tomato crop.

Every year, Lucio and his family would travel wherever tomatoes were being harvested. He and his brothers would spend countless hours picking tomatoes during the summer to help their dad. Migrating each year to harvest tomatoes made it challenging for Lucio and his brothers, because it meant they would start school late — sometimes by nearly a month or two.

With the help of the Migrant Education Program, Lucio excelled in school. Upon graduating from IHS, he went on to receive both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Florida (UF) as a civil engineer. After graduating from UF, Lucio was offered a position as a civil engineer with Kisinger Campo and Associates. He was recently promoted within the company and now works in their Fort Myers office.

Lucio continues to stay active with his family, church, and community. He and his wife, Heather—also an IHS and UF alumni—now reside in Fort Myers with their two children.

Lucio’s story is definitely one of #CCPSSuccess, and his accomplishments have had a ripple effect on the family. Each of Lucio’s brothers went on to graduate from college—two from the University of Florida and one from Bowdoin College in Maine. We are #CCPSProud of the entire family for their efforts to overcome obstacles and achieve success. Congratulations!

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