BRIGHTON — Take an interest in track and field, add two years’ experience in Brighton High School’s DECA chapter and the sum is Jonathan Martinez’ choice of school for the next four years.
He picked Aurora University in Aurora, Ill., as the best place to continue his dual interests.
“I’m excited to be going out of state,” he said. “Most of the friends I have are going out of town, but they are going to Greeley or Grand Junction. I’m going to a different state. They are driving five hours. I’m driving on a 17-hour trip.”
Martinez thought about Ithaca College in New York and Mesa State University in Grand Junction. In the end, it came down to money.
“Aurora was willing to pay,” Martinez said. “Other schools didn’t throw their money out first. And it’s not an athletic scholarship. It’s more of an academic scholarship with the chance to run track.”
In addition to track and field, Martinez plans to take what he learned in BHS’ chapter of DECA, an international organization that teaches high school and college students about marketing, management and business practices to a future chance at running his own athletic training center.
“I want to give back. I’ve been blessed with some opportunities, and I want to give back some of those things I’ve been presented with,” he said.
After hearing a friend sing praises about the program, Martinez spent two years with DECA.
“In Young Ameritowne, it puts you in situations with a real job. In DECA, it’s more how to run your own business. You’re presented with a problem, and you have to find the solution. It opened some doors. A lot of companies … if they find you’re involved with DECA, there is more of a chance you’ll be hired.” BHS won first place in the state DECA competition this year.
Martinez will run both indoor and outdoor track for the Spartans.
“The area is about the size of Greeley. I feel comfortable with it. I visited the school and met the coaching staff and a few of the runners. They seemed really, really nice.
“I’m excited,” he added. “It’s going to be fun to do my own thing. It’s a little scary, too. But we all have to take that step. Mine is just bigger than others.”
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