During her undergraduate years at St. Thomas University, Margee Martinez ’06 was learning life lessons on the field and in the classroom. She came to STU for the opportunity to play soccer, and she was given an athletics’ scholarship. After three years of amazing leadership, wins, and losses her coach left St. Thomas, and Margee was devastated, so much so that she quit the soccer team. But soon afterward she changed her mind.
“When I saw my teammates training and heard them talking about the upcoming season, I wanted back in,” she said. “I realized made a hasty decision without giving the new coach [Michelle] a chance. And she turned out to me one of my favorite coaches.”
Since Margee missed pre-season training, it wasn’t going to be easy getting back on the team. Coach Michelle made sure she, like the rest of her teammates, went through pre-season training, which entailed waking up every day before the sun was out and afternoon sessions as well.
“It took a lot of discipline and hard work, but it paid off. That season was my best season, and Coach Michelle turned out to be a phenomenal coach.”
The discipline Margee, a sales manager for Mass Mutual Miami, learned at STU has also paid off in her career in the financial industry.
“When I was first promoted, my boss said, ‘you come in the earliest and leave the latest, and it shows.’ I received a quality, personalized education at STU that taught me good work ethic, values, and provided a solid foundation and understanding of the business industry.”
In addition to her work at Mass Mutual, Margee also holds financial seminars aptly named “Women and the F word,” in which the F word stands for: family, fitness, friends, and finances. Suffice it to say, the seminars are void of anything run-of-the-mill.
“Education, especially financial education is powerful and empowering. And I realized shortly after beginning my career that young women starting out in their careers need to know that everything they want is within their reach if they are willing to work hard for it. I want to equip young women to become the leaders of tomorrow.”
Although Margee had an athletics scholarship, it didn’t cover 100 percent of her tuition, so she was left to figure out how she was going to come up with the extra money needed to pay tuition.
“I had to come up with $2,000 each semester, which is more like a million dollars to a teenager. I told my coach about my predicament, and she gave me a list of donor scholarships for several denominations, and I applied to all of them.”
Margee ended up receiving the financial aid she needed because of the generosity of others, and now she gives back to STU to pay it forward.
“I was there before, I was one of the students who needed financial aid. And now, I am able to help someone like me reach their dreams. Giving to STU scholarships is my way of giving back to the university that shaped me as a person and kick-started my career in the financial arena.”
Margee graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in business, sports administration.
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