This month, Southwest Airlines salutes all Moms!
I joined Southwest when my daughter Melyna was three years old and my son Teddy was only six months old. They, along with my husband, have volunteered to pass out peanuts during many company-sponsored events. Southwest is in their blood! So much so that Melyna, now 24, decided to join Southwest almost five years ago. She is a proud Customer Service Agent in San Diego!
The flexibility that we have at Southwest has made it possible for me to pursue my career while still being able to be the mom that my children needed at home, school, and at their extracurricular activities. I am thankful that my Mom enjoyed traveling and loved to care for my children when I had to be away from home. Without her help, my future would have been different. My Mom is a special woman who dedicated her life to her children and grandchildren!
My story is certainly no different than moms everywhere. It is an honor to bring you similar stories shared by some incredible women in our community!
~ Lidia Martinez
Like many little girls, I dreamed of being a mother one day. I lost my mother when I just 2, but enjoyed stories about her shared by my siblings. I was determined to one day be the mother I never had for my children. I kept that promise to my oldest son Eric, even after the devastating loss of my youngest son Scotty to leukemia at age 14. With one son by my side and the other in my heart, I've dedicated the past 10 years to helping children with cancer and their families through our Friends of Scott Foundation.
I am the single mother of a young daughter – Karina. She is 14 years old and attends Our Lady of Peace. We are fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends that provide us strong support. Karina is active in Girl Scouts while I am on the Board of Girl Scouts of San Diego and Imperial Council. She also volunteers at MANA de San Diego. Although I have so many things to be grateful for such as my career in banking, community involvement and volunteerism, nothing gives me greater pleasure than being Karina's Mom. Karina and I enjoy long walks with our dog Frida. As a mother I am most proud of her accomplishments and being able to share life's milestones by her side.
I was a high school dropout and believed that my children, Damian and Paula Zamudio, could have a better life, which included stability, parental involvement and completing college.
I worked hard to be a better role model for them, volunteering at their elementary school, while returning to school. Being a single parent was difficult but I ensured that we completed our homework together each night. My family goals kept me focused when I was balancing the demands of attending school, working, volunteering and parenting. We all managed to graduate from San Diego State University. Being there for each milestone they accomplished along the way is how I've measured my success as a mother.
Being a mother makes me happy. I have two beautiful daughters, eighteen and fourteen year old, who are constantly teaching me to see the world through their eyes. I enjoy their different interests and learning new and exciting things in the world today, such as technology. My husband of twenty three years and I enjoy spending time with them visiting museums, going to the beach or reading books. Motherhood has taught me to open my mind, listen with intent and never take anything for granted.
My name is Melyna Martinez, 24 years old and I have been a Customer Service Agent for Southwest Airlines for 5 years. I met my best friend, Megan, in High School. She lost her battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at age 21, which is why I hold the Lymphoma Foundation of America so close to my heart. The Lymphoma Foundation of America is the national organization devoted to helping lymphoma patients and their families. I owe my strength to my mom who has held me up in my worst of days. She is my hero and amazing in everything she does in life at home and at work!
Lidia S. Martinez
Manager, Community Affairs & Grassroots