Standout Student comes long way from life in Liberia
Brooklyn Center High School senior Martor Collins has a clear idea of what she wants to do with her life, and she's driven to accomplish her goal.

"She is one of the most giving and kind young ladies that I've had in my classes," said Anne Clausing, a science teacher at Brooklyn Center High School. "She's willing to help other people, she asks questions of other people and of myself."

Maybe it's her background, but the 18-year-old Collins is focused on caring for others. Collins is appreciative for the help she received in her life when she came to Brooklyn Center as a 9-year-old from Liberia.

"I couldn't read really well, I couldn't write, I had teachers who helped me a lot build the foundation that I needed to be on," said Collins.

After an internship this summer at the Hennepin County Government Center, Collins had exposure to social workers and decided she wants to become a child protection social worker.

"I want to do that because I love working with people, I love working with kids, getting to know them personally, and I just love having the experience to help people out there," said Collins.

This brings us to another important part of Collins' story: she does not give up.

After months of preparation, essays and interviews, Collins is a semifinalist for the Act Six Scholarship Program, offering a full-tuition ride to four private schools in Minneapolis–St.Paul.

"The thought of college is so expensive, some of these schools are $55,000 a year, and to be able to cover most of it through a scholarship that she doesn't have to repay and she can use her time and energy concentrating on her studies and giving back to the community, will be so meaningful," said Jackie Hayden. "It's very rare. Very few of our students get a full ride to college."

School doesn't necessarily come easy, but Collins is determined. She seeks extra help after-school through the Get Ready Program and will do whatever it takes to make sure her next step is college.

"She cares about what's going on in the world, and she's going to put her mark there," said Clausing.

Collins is planning to attend college at either Augsburg or University of Northwestern in St.Paul.

Alexandra Renslo reporting

January 26, 2017


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