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Humans of Hyattsville: Studying and striving in Hyattsville

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Posted on: July 2, 2020

Alysha Martinez lives on the north end of Historic Hyattsville near Queensbury Road and 42nd Avenue, where she often walks with her three-year-old son Elijah. You may recognize their contagious smiles. She is studying for her GED. Her dream job: archeologist or homeland security agent. 

Alysha Martinez and son Elijah
Courtesy of Alysha Martinez

What is your occupation?


I am a cashier at McDonald’s. I also work at the Family Dollar, and I do customer service for Edible Arrangements. 


Who’s in your family? 


Me, my kids, my kid’s godparents and my friends.


How would you describe yourself? 


Energetic. I have a lot of energy. I’m also very funny. It is just whatever comes to my mind, but it makes people laugh. After I’ve had a few sips of Remy Martin, I say things like “I don’t know how I got here, but I’m glad I came,” and everyone laughs.


What causes, whether local or beyond, are you passionate about? What topic really gets you talking at a party?


I’m interested in hearing about politics, but I don’t speak too much about that. If it was brought up at a party, I would be interested in hearing people talk about that.


I like to talk about my goals at parties. My major goal right now is to be hireable at any job I want. This is why I’m currently working on my GED. I want to be confident about walking into any job interview.


How do you wish people saw you?


I would say if I could be like anything, I would be invisible, because when people see me in person, they form a lot of opinions, and it makes a first impression. But … if people could just hear me I think, things would be a lot better.


Why did you decide to settle in Hyattsville?


My son Elijah’s godparents live here. Hyattsville is a good community. It has good schools, good restaurants and everything is within walking distance, including the mall. 


What do you like best about Hyattsville?


Working, and family and friends. That is what Hyattsville is about for me. Everyday, my schedule is the same. I go to work, I come home and see my family and friends. I love that. 


What do you wish Hyattsville did differently?


There really is nothing that should change. Hyattsville is really well put together. It is secure. It is a safe community. It is a safe zone, and you don’t have to worry about anything. Everyone knows everybody, so it feels welcoming.


How do you like to relax? 


I like to read books, color in coloring books and listen to therapeutic music. The music makes me calm and helps me to meditate. You can find this music for free on YouTube. 


I also love to dance and sing. I’m good at culturally dancing, but, honestly, not good at square dancing. I tried that, and I just couldn’t figure it out. I love to swim too. That is one of my most favorite things to do, especially in big rivers. It is such a challenge to swim back to the rocks when you get to the middle. 


If I really think or put my mind to something, I know I can get it done. I can be lazy. … So that’s why I like a challenge, because if things are too easy, I’m not as interested in them. 


Anything else we should know about you? 


I have a good work ethic. I’m not a motivational speaker, but to myself, I’m a motivational speaker. 


Hyattsville keeps me ambitious … there are good jobs here. And good schools. It makes me want to do more for myself and my son.


Email your “Humans of Hyattsville” and “Life Under COVID-19” stories to Li*****@hy*************.com.



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