| 16-Mar-2020

"UTS changed my life." A conversation with Marina Jimenez ’82

Marina Jimenez ’82 has been a UTS donor and volunteer for twenty-five years. She pursued her dream of becoming a journalist after graduating with a Master of Arts from University College of London. Her interest in Latin America and her passion to uncover the issues around immigration and displacement of populations due to war and crime led her to writing many impactful stories that won her multiple national awards.

Marina feels her formative years at UTS had a great role in shaping her future and career after graduating from the school. “Attending UTS was both a very intense and bonding experience. I have so many great and positive memories associated with the school.”

“Attending UTS was both a very intense and bonding experience.”

Marina goes on to say “UTS changed my life. The critical thinking skills, curiosity, global lens, striving to do better are all fundamental UTS traits. And hopefully the humility. Knowing you’re definitely not the smartest person in the room.”

“UTS changed my life.”

She concludes that “If it weren’t for UTS I wouldn’t have the solid friendship base because, to this day, so many of my close friends come from my high school years. The sense of community and closeness still resonates today.”

The connection Marina feels with UTS has motivated her to volunteer with the school on many occasions. Her most recent volunteer activity was Class of 1982 Ambassador for the First Girls Initiative that successfully raised over $1 million for the Building the Future campaign. This initiative, celebrating UTS coeducation, was spearheaded by alumnae from the first 10 years (1978-1987) of women graduates.

This was an eye-opening experience for Marina. “Being asked to be an Ambassador was an important reminder that being among the first cohort of girls represented a major shift in thinking for UTS and more broadly, in society about education. While attending school, among a majority of boys in those first few years, I don’t think I was aware of the significance of that era.” The success of the First Girls Initiative is a true testament to the important role the pioneering women graduates of UTS have played, and continue to play, in shaping the future of the school.

On March 3, 2020, as part of the Building the Future Speaker Series, Marina joined U of T President Meric Gertler in a compelling conversation about the emergence of Toronto as a talent hub and how the Toronto region can thrive amidst a climate of global uncertainty. Reflecting on the event, Marina noted “I believe UTS’ Building the Future Speakers series is a great way to build community and spark dialogues about global challenges.”

Marina added that she enjoys meeting the current students through volunteering. “They are the next generation of leaders and are so thoughtful. It is inspirational to meet the next generation of leaders who really care about global challenges and are thinking about solutions for all the big issues facing them.” “I think alumni want to give their time and resources to the school and connect with the next generation of students and to support them on their path.”