When Renata Gomes Martins spoke at the college’s scholarship luncheon, the Brazilian native described what it was like to head to America solo, in high school, in order to get an American education. Her story was not one of tragedy, loss or sadness. It was one of perseverance, hard work and determination.
Martins shared what it was like to navigate cumbersome processes to get the United States and what it was like to be a student-athlete at a boarding school while also mastering English and taking honors classes. She described what it was like to earn an honors degree and, then, later, an associate’s degree from Lake-Sumter State College, both thanks to athletics scholarships.
At USF, the global business major was awarded an academic scholarship and currently has a 4.0 GPA — earned while supporting herself financially. She worked part-time at the Small Business Development Center and, before that, as a sales intern at Florida Golf.
Thanks to scholarships, Martins has also been able to study abroad twice, travelling to Europe and to Africa. The experiences clearly align with her global view and spurred Martins to get involved in the Global Citizens Project, and she eventually served as president of the group. She later cofounded the Global Business Society and helped bring the inaugural World Without Waste Sustain-A-Bull Challenge, supported by Coca-Cola, to campus, giving students a chance to pitch sustainable business ideas to the firm’s leaders.
Martins also finished near the top in several professional development programs, such as Selling With the Bulls and the Elevator Pitch Competition. It is no surprise that she has received a full-time job offer from Cintas several months prior to graduation.