Meet a Retriever—Ciomara Matamoros, mom of three and aspiring school psychologist

Published: Apr 26, 2024

three woman walk together smiling, wearing black and gold
Matamoros, left, and other Peer Advisory Team members at UMBC-Shady Grove walk together on campus. (Marlayna Demond '11/UMBC)
Meet Ciomara Matamoros ’24, psychology, who is a first-generation college student pursuing her dream of becoming a school psychologist while raising three kids. She’s a member of the Peer Advisory Team at The Universities at Shady Grove and part of the Psychology Student Association. After graduation, she plans on getting her master’s in psychology. Here, Ciomara shares how she gets it all done. 

Q: Briefly introduce yourself. What’s one thing you’d want another Retriever to know about you?

A: I am a senior psychology major at UMBC. I am also a mother of three and my favorite activities include watching my kids play sports. As a first-generation college student, I really want to be an example for my three girls and to show them that if I can overcome the obstacles to go to college, then they can too.

a family poses together at Christmas
Matamoros at home with her husband and three daughters, Angeli, Danielle, and Hailey.

Q: What brought you to UMBC?

A: I came to UMBC because I knew someone who came here for a psychology major. You might think a psych major offers limited career options, but at UMBC I’ve learned about so many different types of career choices. There are lots of opportunities to network and to apply to internships.

Q: What do you plan to do after graduation?

A: I am getting my master’s degree in school psychology. I was accepted into multiple programs I applied to, thanks to the knowledge that UMBC provided me with. These programs are very hard to get into—they only accept 12 students a year. I am extremely excited to pursue my dream! I want to thank Diane Alonso, principal lecturer of psychology and director at Shady Grove, for providing me with so much support and helping me through my academic journey. Also, anytime I had any kind of questions regarding my transcripts and credits, Abigail Grainger, assistant director of undergraduate recruitment and retention, was always there to point me in the right direction.

Ciomara Matamoros smiles with a UMBC shirt on

Q: How has the UMBC community supported you in pursuing your dreams? 

A: There is so much support at UMBC, from the faculty down to the students. Everyone is willing to help you in any way they can. As a mom, I appreciated the flexibility and the large variety of courses I could take at any time.

Q: What clubs, teams, or organizations are you a part of? What do you love about them?

A: I’m a part of the Psychology Student Association. Also, I’m a member of the Peer Advisory Team, which is a specialized program here at UMBC-Shady Grove to help new students feel connected to peers and supported and encouraged. 

a group of students in black and gold hold up letters that say UMBC
Matamoros, holding the “U” stands with a group of fellow members of the UMBC-Shady Grove Peer Advisory Team. (Marlayna Demond ’11/UMBC)

Q: You’re a first generation student. Tell us more about that part of your life.

A: UMBC has helped me grow so much, not only as a student but also as a leader. It’s helped me become more confident in my own abilities. 

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UMBC’s greatest strength is its people. When people meet Retrievers and hear about the passion they bring, the relationships they create, the ways they support each other, and the commitment they have to inclusive excellence, they truly get a sense of our community. That’s what “Meet a Retriever” is all about.

Learn more about how UMBC can help you achieve your goals.

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