May 26, 2017

 

Ever since she was a little girl, Marlene Azucena Martinez
Calderon has been infatuated with the human body. She recalls sitting for
hours, looking at anatomy books and reading about how the body functions.

 

It’s a habit that she turned into a career path. This fall,
Marlene will attend Ivy Tech Community College to study nursing. Her goal is to
become a neo-natal or prenatal nurse.Marlene

 

“I always thought it was interesting how the body creates
life. I would like to help in that process because my little brother, Juan, has
Down syndrome,” said Marlene, who is graduating with a 4.0 GPA from Crispus
Attucks Medical Magnet High School. “When he was born, he had many
complications and I want to help people going through similar situations,
because I know what it’s like.”

 

These days, Marlene has lifted her head up from a book long
enough to become involved in other aspects of school life. In addition to being
a member of the Art Club, she also plays flute in the school’s marching band. She’s
been playing the flute since sixth-grade.

 

“My dad plays the guitar and I think I got the music thing
from him. I like how music makes you feel and how you express yourself through
music,” said Marlene, 17. “I also like drawing. I like showing the inner me.”

 

Originally born in Mexico, Marlene and her family moved to
Indianapolis when she was a year old. Her parents wanted to provide a better
life for their children than what Mexico could offer.

 

Marlene’s dedication to education and graduating near the
top of her class is a source of pride for her family.

 

“I think this means a whole lot to my family,” she said. “In
Mexico, most kids either don’t finish elementary school or don’t go to college.
So with me being second in my class, I think it means that their sacrifice paid
off. I think they’re really proud.”

 

When she enters Ivy Tech in the fall, Marlene will already
have several college credits from the community college on her transcript. She
took Ivy Tech’s classes in anatomy, English composition, psychology and others
while a student at Crispus Attucks.

 

However, because money is tight, she plans to finish her two
years at Ivy Tech then work to save money to continue her education. It’s a deviation
from her original plan for a continuous college experience, but she’s
determined to do whatever is necessary to fulfill her dreams.

 

Her advice to other students when obstacles get in the way?

 

Never give up.
That’s the only thing you can do under stress and under roadblocks, because
there are going to be many in life,” said Marlene. “But the best thing for
people to do is to never give up on their dreams and just keep going.”