Gabriel Martin ’17
Biology Major, Trustees’ Scholarship Recipient
Alpha leader. Resident advisor. Biology major. Nine-time Mexico Outreach participant. Gabriel Martin ’17 learned and served in each of these roles during his undergraduate studies at Azusa Pacific. An APU Trustees’ Scholarship made each part of his education journey possible.
Gabriel believes his life today would look very different if not for the scholarship opportunity and his decision to attend APU. Though Gabriel didn’t have a father figure present while growing up, his mother continually pointed him toward Christ, father to the fatherless. “My mom played the role of both parents, basically,” said Gabriel. “She was always pushing me toward God.”
When Gabriel found out he would receive the full-tuition Trustees’ Scholarship to APU, there was one person at the forefront his mind: “Getting the scholarship was just the greatest way to thank my mom for all the sacrifices she made for me,” he said. “Home was never where we lived, or what room we rented, or what apartment we were in—it was always wherever the two of us were together.”
Taking advantage of all that APU has to offer, Gabriel participated multiple times on Mexico Outreach missions with the Center for Student Action. Those trips proved formative for the aspiring doctor, particularly his friendship with a young boy, Oscar, who looked up to Gabriel. “That was special to me, that I could be something to inspire Oscar to shoot for the stars,” he said. “We look at the world, and we can make judgments on what somebody is worth, but everybody is an instrument for God. He can use anybody to further His Kingdom and His purposes in this world.”
“Everybody is an instrument for God. He can use anybody to further His Kingdom and His purposes in this world.”
Gabriel sees his accomplishments as the collective outcome of everyone who poured into his life, from his mother, to his professors, to his friends and peers. Because they believed and invested in him, Gabriel wants to do the same for others. “If it weren’t for God giving me these opportunities, then I would be nothing,” he said. “I’m grateful because I know I owe everything that I am and everything that I have to other people—none of it is inherently from myself.”
When Margarita Ramirez ’12 stepped for the first time into a classroom in California’s Central Valley, she spoke virtually no English. Today, she is earning a Ph.D. at Georgetown, the latest step in an academic career that includes a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.
For Todd, who was born with spastic cerebral palsy, Walkabout served as a reminder that life is about trusting God. “No matter how hard I think I have to work at something and use my own strength— it’s not enough. That’s something that God’s teaching me. I don’t have to depend on myself. I have to depend on Him.”
Emily LaVelle ’14 began her journey at Azusa Pacific as a nursing major, inspired by the health care workers who cared for her mother during her battle with cancer. But she quickly realized that she was called to something else, an interest she once shared with her mom—art.