BARBARA LERMA MEMORIAL ENDOWMENT Barbara Lerma was already an extraordinary young woman when she graduated in 1976 from Santa Clara High School. She was known by her family and friends for her strong faith, and the happiness and peace that she achieved by living for the moment. She had the heart of a giant and the smile of an angel, touching those she knew and loved. Barbara had the gift of making everyone feel they were her best friend. And it was true, if you were lucky enough to know Barbara. In her work as a nurse practitioner, she was generous and caring. She served as a medical volunteer in Honduras and Tijuana, Mexico. She was a staff nurse for 17 years at St. Joseph's Medical Center, Burbank.
She graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a bachelor's of science degree in biology, and a second bachelor's of science degree in nursing from Mount St. Mary's College. Barbara also earned a master's of science degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix. This remarkable woman, who was valedictorian of the 1976 graduating class at Santa Clara High School, left behind a legacy and a challenge to future graduates at Santa Clara. "What matters now is what we do with the education we have received," she said in her valedictorian speech. "We must always remember that the greatest joy in life comes not from taking, but in giving."
The Barbara Lerma Memorial Endowment was established to honor her legacy, preserve her memory, and to support a deserving SCHS senior girl on her path to academic excellence. "The road we take may sometimes be rocky, and we will surely encounter storms along the way," her valedictorian speech read, "but we have little to fear, for we have truly profited from our experiences at SCHS." The Spirit of 1976 lives on.
Letter from Nicole Martinez '15 First Recipient of Barbara Lerma Scholarship
Hello, I hope this email finds you well! I have been meaning to reach out to you all and update you on how I am doing. I was recently informed that you are in the process of accepting applications for the Barbara Lerma Memorial Endowment and it immediately brought back so many memories of when I applied.
As you may all remember I graduated from Santa Clara in 2015. After graduation I moved to Seattle to attend Seattle University. I began my undergraduate career declaring an Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies major and I soon added a Biology major and a Spanish minor. I was quite ambitious but it became clear that double-majoring and graduating on time was not realistic. I ended up dropping the IDLS major and I am currently finishing up my Biology requirements. I was also fortunate enough to study abroad in Nicaragua last summer to finish my minor. Studying abroad was an amazing adventure and one I believe every student should have the opportunity experience!
Throughout my time in Seattle I have dedicated over 500 hours of community service which include mentoring students at a local high school, volunteering in a soup kitchen, and volunteering in several hospitals in the Seattle area. I am currently volunteering in the Burn Research Unit at Harbourview Medical Center and working for the school as a Spanish tutor. I am also involved in the Pre-Health Club and I am excited to say that I will be the President next year. :)
As senior year approaches, I am planning ahead and preparing for life after graduation. I will be graduating next June and I am planning on moving back home to finish up some medical school pre-requisites and give back to the community that helped me get to where I am today. My goal is to volunteer at my elementary school and help introduce students to the beauty of science! I plan to also give back to Santa Clara and help mentor students who may be interested in pursuing a career in the health care field. My goal is to share knowledge from my experiences and be the mentor I needed at their age.
As far as career goals, I plan on applying to medical school in the Spring of 2020 and hopefully gain acceptance to a medical school in California (dream school is David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA). I would like to stay close to home because I believe it is important to dream big and not forget to give back to those who invested in me and in my success.
With this said, I wanted to thank you all for awarding me the Barbara Lerma Memorial Endowment. Although I received this award years ago, it definitely impacted my life and gave me the confidence to pursue my passion in a field where it is rare to see people like me represented in the positions I hope to attain one day. It is not and will not be easy but I hope to make it easier for the generations to come!
Thanks again! Best of luck choosing the next recipient!
Best, Nicole Martinez Seattle University | Class of 2019 Biology Major | Spanish Minor Pre-Health Club | Upperclassmen Rep. Tutor | Learning Assistance Programs