Isabella “Isa” Martinez graduated this May from Rio Rico High School after 12 years of study that corresponded with her participation in the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona.
For Martinez, participating in Girl Scouts was a family tradition.
“I was a Girl Scout when I was growing up in Mexico,” said her mother, Isabel Martinez. “I understood the advantages of being a Girl Scout, so I welcomed and encouraged Isa’s interest in joining the Girl Scouts when she was very young.”
Isa Martinez recalled her mother signing her up as a Daisy – the Girl Scouts level for kindergarteners and first-graders – when she was 6, and participating in activities such as art projects, activities and movie night.
As a Brownie (second and third grade), she began selling Girl Scout Cookies. “I learned a lot and met so many people during those times. It all helped build my confidence, too. I was so shy back then. The best thing is that the friends that I met are still friends with me today.”
After becoming a Junior-level Girl Scout (fourth and fifth grade), she started getting involved in community projects.
“We did a lot to help people, like hosting food drives, and giving blankets and things, to the homeless when it was cold,” she said. “We also helped people who could not afford to buy the things they needed for their families.”
Throughout her 12 years of scouting, Martinez earned badges and patches to commemorate her achievements and experiences. And she also got to spend additional time with her sister Regina – now a senior-level Girl Scout – and their mother, who volunteered as an involved parent, co-leader and leader.
Martinez, who has long been interested in medicine, followed a sports medicine track at RRHS. She’s planning to start her undergraduate studies at Pima Community College in the fall, with the idea of transferring after two years to Northern Arizona University to pursue a nursing degree.
She said she also plans to work part-time as a caregiver to get more practice.
Her long-term goal is to work at a hospital, specializing in labor and delivery, and to become a Girl Scouts troop leader when she’s older.
(From a story by Beverly Gomez Arriaga, submitted by the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona.)