When Frieda Bleeck Martinez began working on her will, she thought of her career in speech language pathology and the school that enabled her to impact countless children and parents.
Through a bequest, Martinez (MA 1973) created a $25,000 endowed scholarship to benefit undergraduate and graduate students in the Woolfolk School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Our Lady of the Lake University.
The reason for creating the scholarship is simple. “The profession is worthy, the education expensive,” she explained. “I would hope some recipients would work in inner city schools.”
Bleeck Martinez spent more than four decades doing just that. Two years after earning her master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders, she began working in the Edgewood Independent School District (ISD). She served students in 11 schools for 16 years, then spent the next nine years in San Antonio ISD. After retiring in 2000, Bleeck Martinez continued working in the district as a part-time speech pathologist.
“From the first job to the last job, it has been rewarding,” she said. “There is the joy in seeing a child when he succeeds and in the gratitude of the parents and the happiness of the teacher. It requires a lot of flexibility, patience and adaptability to work in public schools.”
Bleeck Martinez supports her alma mater by serving on the Harry Jersig Advisory Council.
“It is very satisfying to see the growth of the profession and the university,” she said. “There are amazing things going on. Serving on the council is a way to meet some nice people with shared values.”
A former Naval officer, Bleeck Martinez recalls how the G.I. Bill helped pay for graduate school at OLLU. Now she wants to help finance education for others.
“I have the money thanks to investing in a 403b retirement account,” she said. “I hope others will invest early and regularly in a 401k or 403b. I hope they will have a comfortable retirement and leave money to help others have opportunities for a better life themselves.”