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Know Your Pelicans

Meet Ann Martinez

Food Services Member

Know Your Pelicans

What is your favorite thing about Packer?

When kids come here at age three and I watch them grow up! I feel close to them and bond with them. Sometimes, when students come [to the Commons], they are tired or studying and they feel stressed. I tell them, "You can't just study. Breathe." And they come back smiling and we hug. The students have respect and love for me like family. It's the same with faculty, too — I'll say, "bring this, take this"— I feel that I'm blessed working here.

Is it true that you've memorized every faculty and staff member's ID number?

All the people I've known over the years, I know their numbers. I see them every day and we smile and talk and laugh, and their numbers are like names to me.

Describe a favorite or memorable moment from your time at Packer.

When the Classes of 2007 and 2014 dedicated their yearbooks to me. It touched my heart because the students always told me I'm special to them. It was so beautiful. Everyone said, "Don't you see how much they love you?" I was crying and the kids were crying — those same kids who I saw when they were small.

I feel that you have to be really sincere and honest and dedicate what you feel in your heart.

What is something that most Packer people wouldn't know about you?

I had always planned my life. I always wanted to be a nurse. My heart always says to take care of people. In Panama, I was preparing to go to the countryside to be a nurse. Everything was fine, and I was happy working with patients. When my sister was preparing my [immigration] papers to move to the United States, I said "Ah, let me go take a nursing assistant position." I took a nursing assistant course, and I got a 100 on my evaluation. I was taking care of patients who couldn't eat or drink.

When I finished the course, I was going to go to Long Island College for nursing, but my immigration papers weren't processed yet. This was 20, 25 years ago. But I'm happy, because when someone [I have helped] asks "Why would you do that for me?" I say, "Today is you, tomorrow is me." What I like for myself, I like to give to someone else. So I still feel in my heart that I like to take care of people.

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