During his four years at Redlands, Joseph DiMartino ’14 made a difference, whether it was as a mentor in CHAMPS, leader in Associated Students of the University of Redlands (ASUR), or member of Mortar Board.
“I think Redlands has really taught me to be very comfortable with myself and who I am and who I want to be,” the San Marcos, Calif. native said. “My frame of thinking is always being challenged, and I’m able to open to all of these new ideas. Critical thinking wasn’t something I got in high school, so being able to really understand someone else’s opinion even though it’s different from mine is a very real and big life lesson.”
DiMartino discovered Redlands when his older brother, Anthony DiMartino ’11, enrolled. When it was time for Joseph to apply to colleges, his brother urged him to consider Redlands.
“I came for Admitted Students’ Day, and thought it was pretty cool,” he said. “I had visited before to hang out with my brother, and loved the campus a lot. I spoke with faculty and went to the psychology department, and everyone just seemed so friendly and willing to go out of their way to help.”
He enjoyed attending the same school as his brother, and liked having someone there “as a safety net, someone who knew the ropes and was able to show me things.” But soon, DiMartino set off on his own path, and became active in several organizations across campus.
“During the first three weeks, we were constantly told to get out of our comfort zone,” he said. “Summer Bridge was a big thing that helped me get out of my shell and ready for college. Through it, I had a mentor already here on campus.”
DiMartino spent his college years involved in a variety of organizations, including FIE, the social justice sibling hood, Big Buddies, Omicron Delta Kappa, Maroon and Grey, and Peer Advising. This year, he also became involved in the fight to save Cal Grants, and flew up to Sacramento for Lobby Day.
“Financial aid has really helped support me and my family in achieving my dream of higher education,” he said. “Redlands is education plus, and so many things come along with that education - leadership skills, community building, personal growth as a whole. It’s just amazing.”
When he was in Sacramento, DiMartino was able to talk to assembly members and share with them the importance of Cal Grants.
“I appreciate what Cal Grants give you – the opportunity and chance to go for a higher education,” he said. “I do feel that as we talked to these different people, they were very interested in listening, and were open to what we had to say. I appreciated that.”
DiMartino majored in psychology, and knew that once he graduated, he would go into the service field. He plans on attending the University of Southern California for his master’s degree in social work.
“I want to work in whatever community that needs me, and would love to work with and impact youth,” he said.
Wherever DiMartino goes, he will take with him the lessons he’s learned and the memories he’s made over the past four years.
“I owe so much to Redlands,” he said. “I was given a home away from home, and allowed to become part of this amazing community. I understand how privileged I am to be here, and I need to be able to give this privilege back to others who might not be as lucky. I am so grateful for the support system.”
Written by: Catherine Garcia