The scholarship is given each year to a BC junior who exemplifies the values and ideals of martyred Salvadoran archbishop Romero, a crusader for the poor and social justice who was assassinated at the altar in 1980.
Martinez, who was raised on Geneva Avenue in Dorchester and graduated from West Roxbury High School, received the award at the Romero Scholarship Award Banquet held March 31 in the Lyons Hall Welch Dining Room. The scholarship covers three-quarters tuition for the senior year.
Martinez is vice-president of the Organization of Latin American Affairs, and has been active in the Caribbean Culture Club and other multicultural organizations. Off-campus, he has held internships with the Presidential Classroom in Washington, DC, and Prevention Now, an anti-violence program for elementary-school pupils.
Roystone Martinez, '02 (Photo by Bill McCormack)
In his dedication to bettering the lot of urban schoolchildren, Martinez "really embodies the spirit of Romero," said Prof. Dennis Sardella (Chemistry), chairman of the subcommittee that selected the winner from five finalists for the award.
Martinez said he was overcome with emotion on hearing his name announced as the scholarship recipient.
"Winning this scholarship was such an honor for my family and me," he said. "I thought of all of the things that have gotten me to where I am today. I was so emotional and I tried to maintain my composure as I went to deliver my speech, but I was so overwhelmed with joy that I began to cry.
"I am proud to be this year's Archbishop Oscar Romero recipient, because I know that he was a saint who gave his life for what he believed in. I do not think I even compare to him, but I do possess qualities that he embodied, such as care, love, and concern for others.
"These qualities, among others, moved and motivated him through his times of fear, which in turn, made him look to God and ask for guidance. I do the same thing as well, as I begin to look toward the future."
Martinez said his post-graduate plans include working for a time in college admissions, then embarking on a career in the urban public schools as a college counselor.
"There needs to be a call for a presence in the schools, because we are losing the youth and leaders of tomorrow," he said. "I pray to God and the Archbishop to guide me through my endeavors and for the furtherance of the world."
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