May 27, 2020
Baldo Martinez Barron graduated this month from ASU with a bachelor’s degree in exercise and wellness. During his time at ASU, he discovered that his biggest goal in life is to motivate others to chase their dreams and guide students through their college transition, in the same way he was once guided.
“If I am ever part of the reason why someone just got off the couch to be productive, that means I did my job,” Barron said.
During his time at ASU, he wasn’t afraid to get involved, take risks outside of his comfort zone and make a difference.
Barron was an active member of TRIO and an academic tutor for the Upward Bound TRIO summer programs in 2018 and 2019. TRIO programs support first-generation students, low-income students, veterans and students with disabilities.
“Being part of the TRIO program made my college experience easier and guided me to develop my skills as a student and as a professional worker, through all of their resources — from their workshops to their one-on-one advising and tutoring. Being part of TRIO makes me feel part of a community where I belong, with peers coming from a similar background than I do,” he said.
He also participated in research studies on the acute effects of strength training with Rachel Larson, a faculty member in the exercise and wellness program at ASU. Outside of the classroom, Barron was a member of the Athletic Affinity Network, and he worked as a youth performance coach for AB Futbol Training in Phoenix.
On weekends, he worked for Relentless Beats, a music company, and had the opportunity to model for VoyagePro and the Sun Devil Marketplace in Tempe in several ads promoting ASU gear. Additionally, Barron participated in ASU’s intramural soccer league all four years as well as volunteered at events for nonprofit organizations.
While it’s undeniable that Barron stayed busy during his time in Tempe, he was also able to travel through the 2019 Global Health Care Systems study abroad winter program and experience how vast the world really is. After graduation, he plans to work on different certifications, attend graduate school and further his education in sports medicine and exercise science.
Barron feels proud to be another first-generation student in his family and is excited to see what the future holds for him. He took some time out of his busy life to share what advice he’d give to current students and what’s next for him on his journey.
Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?
Answer: While I was in San Luis High School I was part of the cross country and soccer teams, where injuries are common. I enrolled in this sports medicine class with our athletic trainer Nate Blackhurst to gain some knowledge on sport-related injuries. I enjoyed the class since day one and did not take long before I was part of the Sports Medicine Club and gained valuable leadership experience. I loved it and I knew I wanted to make a career out of it. Mr. Blackhurst was definitely a mentor and part of the reason why I chose to be where I am.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?
A: Something that ASU taught me was not to set limits on myself, be a driven individual, stay on top of my responsibilities and that every mistake you make is a lesson learned that will make you wiser.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: I never really thought I would come here, however, as a senior in high school I was offered a scholarship that was very difficult to reject. Then at the moment, I knew ASU was among the top-ranked universities in the world and what the College of Health Solutions had to offer, which made it even easier to convince me.
Also, the fact that ASU is only three hours away from my hometown helped, and it was perfect for me to stay in touch with my family. Not to mention our high school math teacher Mr. Flores, who was always trying to persuade us to become Sun Devils, and it worked.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?
A: While at ASU Professor Tiffany Gray taught me the most important lesson that I will never forget. Do not let situations you do not have control over prevent you from pursuing your dreams. Be diligent and the rest will be history.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: The best piece of advice I would give to those still in school is that failure is part of a successful path, so do not be discouraged by adverse situations. Call it a lesson learned rather than a mistake, and move on to the next challenge.
Be grateful for what you have, and always find motivation in the sacrifices that have been made by you and your loved ones in order to be where you are.
Last but not least, find friends who inspire you to become the best version of yourself, network with professors and get to know your classmates. At the end of the day they will become professionals who you can always refer to.
Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends, or just thinking about life?
A: My favorite spot on campus was the SDFC fields at night. This was a moment to set homework aside and forget about school for a bit. I guess I enjoyed the atmosphere of everyone having a good time while exercising or simply being outdoors.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: If someone ever gave me $40 million dollars to solve one problem on our planet, I would most likely start a nonprofit project that would focus on the importance of mental health and how exercise can be an effective way to cope with anxiety and other disorders.