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HSF Staff

Federico Martell Jr.

  • Gender: Male
  • Major: Sociology
  • University: University of California - Irvine
  • Hometown: Los Angeles
  • State: California
  • Organization: Hispanic Scholarship Fund
  • Position Title: Senior Analyst, Strategic Partnerships

A year after Federico was born in Dalton, Georgia, his family moved to Jalisco, Mexico, and lived there for seven years. When they returned to the US, they settled in Los Angeles, the city Federico now calls home. He says his mother’s example, including the sacrifices she made for him and his two younger brothers, compelled him to pursue higher education, to aim high in life, and to never give up.

Still, when it came time to apply to college, and despite his determination, Federico faced difficulties common to many first-generation college students, such as having to figure out the application process on his own, and completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which, to a great extent, would determine whether or not he would be able to afford college.

He managed to find his way, not only getting accepted to the University of California, Irvine, but also receiving the merit-based, Frank Terraza Generation 1st Degree Scholarship, administered by HSF.

“Receiving the Frank Terraza Generation 1st Degree Scholarship not only recognized the hard work that I put into my academic career, it showed me that there are people who are willing to help students in their pursuit of a higher education. With the scholarship money I was awarded, I was able to buy my first laptop, as well as some of my textbooks.”

Federico subsequently graduated from UC Irvine with a BS in Sociology. Prior to working at HSF, he was a transitional development specialist, helping foster youth find the resources and services they needed to pursue a positive and successful future.

He says that he appreciates the opportunity to once again help improve the lives of others, this time, through his role at HSF, and he expresses enthusiasm about the mission and the team that implements it. “HSF is helping to find student leaders who have the potential to better their communities and create a better world for future generations,” he said, adding, “I also enjoy being able to work alongside talented individuals who are passionate about the work they do here.”

To students and parents considering a college track, he draws from his own experience as a first-generation college student, in stressing the importance of not being afraid to ask questions. “There are a lot of people who can provide you with guidance to minimize the stress on the path to higher education.” He also encourages self-help—i.e., being self-directed in seeking out opportunities that can have a positive impact on one’s professional, educational, and personal life.