Silver Knight Feature–Valentina Martinez

Melissa Mendoza, Writer

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Senior Valentina Martinez became a Silver Knight nominee in English after her dedicated and well thought out project of distributing books to underprivileged children who have no access to libraries and bookstores, so that they may receive some level of education.

Growing up, Martinez’s grandmother always told her to study hard in school and take advantage of the opportunity to receive a free education, since her grandmother grew up working and never got past grade school. With this, Martinez realized that many children today live without even having the option to go to school, so she started her book charity drive, Little People Big Minds.

Little People Big Minds has shipped hundreds of books and delivered them to underprivileged children in developing countries such as Colombia, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.

Martinez said, “I am proud to say that with the help of many people, my community service project has been successful in promoting literacy to children living in poverty.”

Her main goal was to promote education and reading in places where it is not given importance and she is grateful to the many people who donated books to her charity.

Starting any community service project is nerve-wracking and that’s exactly how Martinez felt. She did not know if she could do it on her own. She decided to speak at churches, schools, and libraries about the need to educate the world’s children. Afterward, she started receiving phone calls from people who had the desire to help out by either donating children books or money. Throughout this journey, one of the greatest difficulties she faced was motivating others to donate and care about the charity. However, this did not stop her.

This experience has given her the chance to give back to her community and create a charity for a cause that is important to her.

“I am honored to represent my amazing high school as the English Silver Knight nominee. TERRA has allowed me to be independent, which has always been something that is important to me, and has well prepared me for college. My hope is that I can inspire others to serve their communities in every way possible,” says Martinez.

Her experience with Little People Big Minds has sparked a fire inside of her to help others and come up with more ideas to contribute to those in need.


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Silver Knight Feature–Valentina Martinez