EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — March is International Women’s Month and once again, WPRI 12 is honoring those who inspire, lead, and forge the way for other women.

For the fourth year, people nationwide submitted the Remarkable Women in their lives, and out of the dozens of local nominees, four finalists were chosen.

Our third finalist is Catalina Martinez who grew up in a Cuban immigrant family with very little money and was “laser-focused” on improving her life as she grew up.

After earning a degree in Medical Assistance, she got her first break and helped lay the foundation for the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program in Providence.

She then decided to go to college and while studying, she lived and worked in a women’s shelter and was reminded every day of everyone’s potential. She went on and earned three graduate degrees, which led to 20 years of ocean expeditions and working as the Regional Program Manager for NOAA Ocean Exploration.

But her latest adventure and passion is one that has been there all along. As a diversity professional, she follows the motto “lift as you climb” and is helping others get to where they want.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Recognizing Remarkable Women in Our Community »

Throughout the month of March, one of our four local finalists will be featured every Tuesday on 12 News This Morning and The Rhode Show to tell her story and highlight her accomplishments. All of this year’s finalists’ stories will also be posted here on WPRI.com.

The winner will be considered for Nexstar’s Nationwide 2023 Woman of the Year award.