It’s not easy being a first generation college student and full-time business owner, but it seems to come naturally to 18-year-old Suleyma Martinez-Lopez. Just weeks after graduating from Summit High School in May 2016, Suleyma became the owner of Avalanche Communications in Dillon. Now she is working towards an associate degree in general studies at Colorado Mountain College while running the family owned and operated cellphone retail business.
For Suleyma, whose parents immigrated to America in 1991, family is everything. The Martinez-Lopez family lost their father to a heart attack in 2006, but the tragedy brought them closer.
“I would like to thank my mom for giving us strength throughout the hard times,” says Suleyma, “and encouraging us to continue moving towards a better future. The past few years my sisters and I have focused on our education, inspiring each other to keep moving forward.”
Suleyma Martinez-Lopez hopes to complete her degree in two years at Colorado Mountain College, while building her business. Though time management has proven to be her biggest challenge, she is determined to make it all work.
As a first generation student, says Suleyma, “Colorado Mountain College has provided me the chance to continue my education and learn something new every day. It has opened many opportunities in my personal life and enriched my life with knowledge.”
Suleyma isn’t the only daughter in the Martinez-Lopez family to benefit from Colorado Mountain College in Summit County. Her older sisters Maria and Edeyanira also worked with Debbie Devine, CMC student support services specialist, to help carve out their future pathways. Suleyma hopes her younger sister will also be inspired by the opportunities Colorado Mountain College has created for their family.
“I would recommend CMC to everyone.” says Suleyma, “It’s a great way to continue your education and is affordable. All the staff and students are very helpful. Colorado Mountain College has had a huge impact on me and my family’s life, and has enhanced our future.”