Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve

Earlier this Spring in advance of the Leo T. McCarthy Award Celebration, we sat down with multiple students who have been positively effected by the generosity of Leo T. McCarthy awardees, Janet and Clint Reilly. One of our conversations was with Fiorella Martinez, a University of San Francisco alum. Fiorella is also a graduate of the Bay Scholars program, a nonprofit created by Clint Reilly that provides four-year scholarships for students from underserved communities to attend successful Catholic college-prep high schools in the Bay Area.

To date, Bay Scholars has awarded more than $7 million in scholarships with the intention of putting students on paths to higher education. A number of have chosen USF as the college of their choice. Fiorella Martinez is one of them.

“I’m a first generation college student. I didn’t really think about how much financial support my family needed for me to even get to Sacred Heart,” says Fiorella. “So I was really fortunate in that way. I also feel like I didn’t think about what was coming next. I had the opportunity to work with really great counselors, really great early college advisors that were getting us through the path to get to college.”

Fiorella’s experience at both Sacred Heart and USF has influenced her decision to work for a non profit. “I do case management for families that live in underserved communities, and I think that I’ve always grown up with the idea of ‘Enter to learn, leave to serve.’ And that’s exactly where the Bay Scholars program placed me at Sacred Heart, and then I continue that at USF with that same ideology. And we’re learning in our classes.”

Watch the Leo T. McCarthy Award video below. To support students like Fiorella, make a gift and contribute to our Center’s programs here.


Bay ScholarsBay Scholars ProgramLeo T. McCarthy AwardSacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory

Leo T. McCarthy Center • April 21, 2022

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