Gabriela Martinez

Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California

M.S.W. Social Work, Spring 2021

Born and raised in East L.A, Gaby grew up playing a variety of sports, but her favorite was always competitive swimming. At 13 years old, during a family gathering, Gaby accidently dove head first into a shallow pool, not realizing it was only four feet deep. She was knocked unconscious and woke up in the hospital, and was diagnosed with a C 5 spinal cord injury. After her injury, Gaby was depressed and felt that life would never be the same. With the help of family, friends and childhood swim team buddies she found her way back to the pool and relearned how to swim. The water became a vital asset to her rehabilitation, and currently, she is strengthening her adaptive swimmer skills at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center. Furthermore, Gaby graduated with her B.A. in Sociology from Cal State L.A. and completed her Master of Social Work at U.S.C. in 2021, with which she aspires to positively impact marginalized communities.

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