School: Sampson Early College High School

Hometown: Clinton, NC

Roots: Mexico

Yadira Paz-Martinez

Yadira Paz-Martinez is a proud 17-year-old Mexican-American daughter with undocumented parents from Mexico. She calls Clinton, the small town of southeastern North Carolina, home and attends Sampson Early College High School. Her peers would describe her as a talkative, friendly, extrovert who always wants to make everyone feel included. Although small in stature, she uses her voice and knowledge to stand out in a crowd. Yadira knows the importance of making changes, big or small, to help improve the lives of others. She has worked with a Migrant Education program, and she learned that everyday children and adults suffer because of language barriers, and often lack their basic needs. She strives for a better future for her community. She is currently using her club positions to make a local impact and influence her peers to serve their city just as their community has served them. Yadira’s goals include continuing her education at a four-year university and obtaining the knowledge and character to help change the world. Yadira lives by the wisdom shared with her from a mentor, “first learn to change your community than change the world.”