Melissa MartinezMelissa Martinez, of Evergreen Park, is the first Moraine Valley Community College student selected to represent the college at the annual Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) conference. She will attend the 30th annual conference Oct. 8-10 in San Antonio, Texas.

In her second year at Moraine Valley, Martinez was selected as a Student Track Scholar by the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, which provided a scholarship to cover all conference expenses. The HACU conference is a three-day career development and networking symposium to build undergraduate students’ career skills.

As a HACU Student Track Scholar, Martinez will network with federal agencies, corporations, colleges and universities, and expand her knowledge of careers in varying sectors. More than 400 students from around the United States are expected to be in attendance.

“I was so excited to learn I would be receiving this scholarship, especially knowing there were students from many community colleges and universities all competing for the same scholarship,” Martinez said. “I feel like it will be a great opportunity for me to learn about what’s out there for Hispanic students, learn the kinds of resources that are available and then be able to bring back a lot of ideas that we can look at implementing at Moraine Valley.”

Martinez serves as the president of Moraine Valley’s Alliance of Latino American Students, is a member of the DREAM mentoring program, a student employee in the Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) Office, and was a featured speaker at the college’s Latino Empowerment Conference.

“The department of Multicultural Student Affairs is proud of Melissa for her dedication and contribution to the growth of herself and her peers, and we are honored for her to represent Moraine Valley at the HACU conference,” said Tianna Richards, coordinator of MSA.