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"The most important thing is the economic financial aid of many people who can do without a little bit."

Interview with Ana Maria Martinez, mother of a former student who studied thanks to scholarship Alumni

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Marina Ruiz de Galarreta studied at degree program thanks to a scholarship Alumni and then completed her doctoral studies at thesis . She now works at the Ican School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York). PHOTO: Courtesy
24/01/18 09:59 Fatima Rosell

Ana María Martínez is the mother of Marina, a Biology graduate and a scholarship recipient of the first graduating class of the Alumni Scholarships program. She tells us what it meant to her that her daughter received the scholarship and what her experience was like.


How did your story with Alumni Scholarships begin?

Marina decided to study biology. When she decides something it is a resounding decision, but it was perhaps the most complicated year of our life because of my husband's illness, who died the following year. Before we had to say no, we went to ask the university. There they told us that they could help us because they had just created the Alumni Scholarships program. Marina was granted it and thanks to this she was able to start the degree program.


What impact did the scholarship de Marina have on you?

She was already a hard worker, but the commitment of scholarship was noticeable. She thought that with the opportunity she was being given, she had to make the degree program even better. And so she did.


Without the scholarship Alumni, what other option did I have?

There was the option of requesting the scholarship from the Government and from the State. But we did not have the security that we felt when we asked for the scholarship Alumni. With Alumni, if you don't fail, the scholarship is yours for the whole degree program. In addition, the government supervises that the scholarship is for what it is supposed to be for and that there are good results, but they do not know the scholarship recipients one by one. Here those who receive the scholarship have a face and a name, it is staff.


How did you experience your daughter's college experience?

I can sum it up in a conversation I once had with her. I had been going to college for eleven years, between Degree, Master's Degree and doctorate. I said to her, "My child, don't you get bored of going the same way every day?". And I thought she would tell me that she was a bit fed up, but she answered: "You know what, Mom? Not at all, this is what I like to do". And it's true, I have always seen her happy going to the University, tired yes, but never bored.


Until the day finally came for the defense of the thesis ...

Yes, I thought it would be a bore. We were my sisters, my nieces and her boyfriend. He was talking for two hours and average and I didn't understand very well everything he was saying, but I didn't get bored. The way she mastered the subject and how she transmitted it left me speechless. Everyone was congratulating her and she had a happy face that I still remember. I just kept repeating to myself, "Gee, she did well." Everything she has studied, everything she has truly sacrificed is there. There you realize all the effort. She's doing what she loves and it's worth it.


What would you say to Friends who contribute to the scholarships?

They say that Botín gives half scholarships, that Zara gives scholarships; but I imagine that the most important thing is the trickle of many people who, although they do not have much, can do without a little bit. That financial aid to a lot of people. We do not know what will happen to those who receive the scholarship, they may go far, they may fall by the wayside; but one thing is clear: if they do not start, they do not even have the chance to get somewhere, they do not take any path. And that cannot be. Those who contribute have to be happy with so many young people who go out, do something good and like it.