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Madera student receives $180K scholarship

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera High senior Scott Martinez shows off a check for a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) scholarship from the United States Marine Corps. Martinez was recognized in a ceremony at Madera High on Wednesday. From left are Capt. Michael Czyrnik, parents Mike and Stefanie Martinez, Scott Martinez and Sgt. Joseph Guerrero.


While waiting to see about his acceptance to the United States Naval Academy, Madera High School student Scott Martinez received the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship from the United States Marine Corps.

Martinez is one of three Central Valley students to receive the award. He will be able to use the scholarship to any college or university with an ROTC program and once he graduates, he will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

“I wasn’t expecting it to happen,” Martinez said.

Martinez said he will use the scholarship to attend Tuskegee University in Alabama if his Plan A doesn’t come to fruition.

“This was what my back-up was going to be,” he said. “It’s just a different path. I’m excited for everything that I have received. It’s just nice to have other opportunities.”

Martinez’s Plan A is still to attend the U.S. Naval Academy. He is just waiting for the acceptance letter to come in.

“I’m not sure where I’ll be going,” he said. “I haven’t made my final decision yet because there’s more opportunities to come.”

Martinez has a letter of assurance from the academy that should turn into an acceptance.

“I have a letter of assurance, which means as long as I get my medical cleared, it turns into an acceptance,” he said. “I’m just waiting for word from that. I should have everything cleared.”

Martinez isn’t sure when that letter will come, but he is hoping soon.

“If it turns into an acceptance, the Naval Academy is my Plan A,” he said.

He was honored Wednesday by the Madera Unified School District and U.S. Marine Corps captain Michael Czyrnik with a check presentation for the scholarship.

“That was an amazing experience,” he said. “To see all my teachers, coaches and friends supporting me, it was nice. It was a good reminder of who have helped me along the way.”

In order to be considered for the scholarship, Martinez had to score 1,000 or higher on the SAT, a 74 or better on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and pass a rigorous physical fitness test, among other tests.

Although heading the the Naval Academy is Martinez’s first choice, having a full-ride scholarship to fall back on isn’t a bad Plan B.

“That scholarship would cover all of my expenses,” he said. “We’re hoping to go to the Naval Academy.”

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