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Outstanding Adult Student

Centrice Martin (photo by Steve Williams)What makes someone an adult student? For Centrice Martin, it was when her daughter, Mavalynn, was born. According to Penn State policy, adult students are those age 24 or older or who are considered independent and have at least one child to support.

Look at Martin’s undergraduate career and it is easy to understand why she was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Adult Student Award.

An agribusiness management major, she juggled finding a babysitter during class with finding time to utilize campus resources. Because she could not afford a computer during most of her college career, Martin would drop her daughter off at school in the morning and go to the labs before, between, and after classes until she had to pick up her daughter from daycare at 5:30.

She found a way to make it work, plus some. Martin is an involved parent who has assisted cheerleading coaches and coached T-ball. On campus, she was a recruiter’s assistant in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology and a student presenter for incoming freshmen at the University’s First-Year Testing, Consulting, and Advising Program and at the college’s Spend a Summer Day event.

“As a presenter, I was able to give a little something back to Penn State by sharing my experiences and inspiring the incoming freshmen,” said Martin.

As an adult student and a parent, Martin has a different perspective on college. “I feel that I had a little bit more patience and tried to be more open minded and understanding,” she said.

She also noted that being financially independent with a daughter to support made her value the cost of an education and stay focused. “I was more aware of the consequences if I did not pass or do well in my classes.”

Martin is now a graduate student in the college pursuing a master’s degree in youth and family education.