Americus senior receives state student of the year award

Sumter County High student receives student of the year award
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 5:39 PM EDT
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AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - An Americus teen is well on his way to a career in agriculture, months before graduating high school.

Joan Martinez was chosen as student of the year out of all 52 IGNITE college and career academies in Georgia. He says his involvement in agricultural organizations is what shaped his career goals.

“I feel good about achieving this award. It’s an honor for me to receive it. I have worked hard my whole high school year. I changed the ways I used to be, disobeying students. I used to get in trouble a lot. But then I noticed I got into these clubs and started seeing that I could do a better version of myself. And I took advantage of each club,” Martinez said.

Martinez said he wants to go into the precision agriculture field.

Through FFA and the career technical student organization, he’s gained real-life experience.

“He’s also the state winner in that area and he’ll be competing at the National FFA convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, later this month for the owner of the national winner. He’s one of four finalists, and so, we want to use his story to inspire other students here to show them that they can do the same things that he’s done and even more,” said Dr. Donald Gillman CEO of Ignite College and Career Academy.

The IGNITE college and career academy at Sumter County High School have only been in operation for a year and have already seen the success of its students.

The school hopes honors like this one will provide more opportunities for students like Joan.