SUU to Everywhere

Crystal Martinez (’18)

Crystal Martinez (’18)
SUU to Program Manager

Originally published on December 01, 2020.

An avid listener of podcasts, and a fan of hiking and indoor cycling, Crystal Martinez’s true passion is helping others and she credits SUU for directing her passion into a rewarding career.

Originally from Brigham City, Utah, Crystal attended Box Elder High School, where she was first introduced to the University. “I am so thankful that SUU attended my high school’s College Day,” she says. “Through their presentation, I learned how amazing SUU was!”

After high school graduation in 2015, Crystal came to SUU as a proud first-generation college student of Mexican-American migrant workers. She majored in sociology and gained a broad perspective of the world and learned to better understand and appreciate the perspective of others. Social Inequality and Justice was one of her favorite courses at SUU and she still references the course’s text book.

Crystal worked as an ACE (assistant coach for excellence and success) on campus and credits that experience for redirecting her career aspirations from social work to education. It was while mentoring fellow students that she discovered the disparities and barriers that hinder others from pursuing an education, and having the ability to minimize those things matched well with her own goals.

Following her 2018 SUU graduation, Crystal was named the Keys to Success Program Manager in the Success in Education Foundation, which is a part of the Ken Garff Automotive Group. The program’s purpose is to motivate students to unlock their future by connecting them with scholarships, internships, and opportunities that match their career interests.

“I love my job because I get to help students every day work toward their goals,” she says. “I think the biggest reward is knowing that the program is helping students access more resources and opportunities that they might not have found otherwise. Through a lot of hard work, we have been able to create a platform for students to unlock their future and pursue success.”

In her personal time, Crystal volunteers as a court appointed support advocate in the Third District Court in Salt Lake City where she works one-on-one with children in crisis and, with the help of an attorney or a judge, stays connected with each child until they are placed in a safe and permanent home.

“While at SUU, I learned that I was capable of doing more than I ever imagined. I was generally a shy person growing up, and assumed that since I didn’t have a large presence in a room that I would be unable to create change,” she says. “I love Southern Utah University!”