Grad School Femtoring, LLC, founded by Dra. Yvette Martínez-Vu, empowers first-gen students of color with support, skills, and tools to help them prepare for grad school and beyond.
The mission of GSF is to demystify higher education and empower first-generation BIPOC folks to reach their academic and personal goals all while leading in a compassionate and social justice informed way.
meet the founder
Hola! I’m Dra. Yvette Martínez-Vu, a first-gen, disabled, Chicana academic coach, author, and speaker. My higher education femtoring journey started in graduate school when I landed my first job as a grad student mentor at the UCLA Undergraduate Research Center. It was through femtoring Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows that I uncovered my strong desire to pursue a career where I could use my strengths to be in service of others.
More about me and my work: Motherhood and motherwork is a core part of my identity and one lens through which I compassionately support others. In 2014, I co-founded the Chicana M(other)work Collective, a project informed by the gendered, classes, and racialized experiences of mothers of color in academia. This project has turned into a podcast, blog, and bestselling book, The Chicana M(other)work Anthology, published by the University of Arizona Press in 2019.
Before graduating with my PhD in 2016, I learned that I did not want to become a professor and instead wanted to dedicate my time to more service-oriented positions. I earned my PhD in 2016 and secured a job as a scholarship advisor at the UCLA Undergraduate Research Center, where I helped students apply for and win national and international merit scholarships. In 2017, I transitioned into the role of Assistant Director for the UCSB McNair Scholars Program where I was promoted to Associate Director and ran the daily operations of the program, until I left in 2021 to start my own coaching business.
I now specialize in supporting first-generation BIPOCs who plan to or are navigating grad school by teaching them concrete writing, planning, and organizing skills and offering compassionate and confidence-boosting support. I empower my femtees in reaching their academic and personal goals, no matter how big or wild those dreams are!
I’m introverted and yet grew up doing theater, acting and stage managing, most of my childhood
I’m a mom raising two mixed race children of Mexican and Vietnamese heritage
I’m neurodivergent and chronically ill, which helps me be more compassionate with myself and others
I’m a virgo, recovering perfectionist, and people often say I’m the most organized person they know
My other academic and career highlights include:
-co-authoring the forthcoming book, Is Grad School for Me?: Demystifying the Application Process for First-Gen BIPOC Students, with University of California Press (2024)
-co-editing the bestselling Chicana M(other)work Anthology with University of Arizona Press (2019)
-assisting 90% of my clients in applying for and getting admitted into top graduate programs and winning national fellowships
-supporting the academic and personal progress of first-gen, low-income, and nontraditional BIPOC students
-designing, implementing, and assessing academic programs, coaching programs, courses, and workshops to facilitate graduate-school preparation and professional development
-managing, hiring, training, and supervising part-time and full-time staff, graduate students, and contract workers
-writing for university grants, including federal grants
-college level and K-12 level teaching and curriculum development
-teaching and public speaking for groups of 20-200+ people
-organizing and participating in 30+ conferences
-receiving 20+ prestigious grants and awards
-and managing budgets of up to $1.8M