First-generation College Student Finds Prescription for Success
Zachary St. Martin has found the right prescription for his life. St. Martin will transfer to Arizona State University where he plans to major in the science of healthcare delivery with the intention of pursuing joint Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees. His goal is to become a physician-champion for medically underserved populations.
A first-generation college student out of Mesa, Arizona, St. Martin traveled a circuitous route to reach his destination.
After graduating from Mountain View High School in 2010, St. Martin attended Brigham Young University, Idaho, but dropped out after a few semesters. He then completed a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Ready to resume his studies, St. Martin initially chose business.
“At the time, I felt that previous missteps in my education all but disqualified me from getting into medical school, so I forwent that dream and decided to study business. I was excited for the opportunity to polish my communication and selling skills,” St. Martin said.
A 6-week stint in the Windy City as a door-to-door salesman convinced St. Martin that he was not on track to achieve his dream of career that provides tangible benefits to humanity and serving others.
“Selling door-to-door convinced me that me that my initial dream of being a doctor would fulfill all of those things for me much better than a career as a cut and dry businessman.”
Zac then moved back to the Valley of Sun and attended Mesa Community College. From there, things started to click for St. Martin. He got connected on campus and with his teachers and peers.
“So many opportunities I have received stem from my willingness to make a connection with my teachers and the material in class and take advantage of the myriad of extracurricular activities on and off campus,” St. Martin said.
He became extensively involved with MCC’s Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society that recognizes academic excellence in two-year colleges. He was selected to the 2017 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team as a silver scholarship recipient, which places him among the top community college students in the nation.
As St. Martin looks toward the long road to furthering his education, he stresses to others how seriously they should take the journey of getting an education.
“If I could talk to my younger self, I would really drive home the importance of taking my studies seriously and not squandering my potential or the investment of time and effort that others had made in my life.”
And his advice to anyone on the fence about getting an education…
“What have you got to lose? There is unlimited upside to committing to your education, whether that is a bachelor’s degree or a trade certification. There are so many resources out there for students at any stage of life.”