CINCINNATI - Oscar Martinez doesn't have any footsteps to follow when it comes to college. So he's going to make his own - for himself and his younger brothers.
“I want to do this for my brothers. They look up to me. I have two younger ones,” the Withrow High School student told WCPO.
His path got a little easier Tuesday when Cincinnati State unveiled a new "Be Great" Grant for low-income Cincinnati Public Schools students.
“It can be a make or break for a lot of folks in our community,” said Cincinnati State Provost Robbin Hoopes.
Martinez has always been into graphic design.
“That's one of my passions. I actually sell graphics to people online,” he said.
A "Be Great" Grant from Cincinnati State - up to $1,000 for tuition and another $1,000 for books – could help him launch a career.
Who’s eligible for a Cincinnati State grant? Any CPS graduate who is eligible for Pell Grants.
“I think it's a huge opportunity,” said another Withrow student, Sharrell Lasley.
Like Martinez, Lasley has her own dreams of attending college.
“College is something I have to do. College is number one for me,” she said.
Hoopes says it’s a win-win for students and employers, providing local companies the quality of workers they need.
“That's our mission - to create that pipeline,” Hoopes said. “This has been a barrier.”
For Martinez, it's all about getting to that final step.
“I can't wait to get there. I know it will be amazing,” he said.