Waleska Martinez-Rivera was born in Puerto Rico. She studied computer science and business at the University of Puerto Rico where she graduated first in her class in 1986 before moving on to teaching computer science at two universities. In 1987 she moved to New York and was hired the following year by the US Census Bureau’s regional office, where she was subsequently promoted to supervisory computer specialist recruiting and training other computer specialists. Highly praised by her boss there, Waleska was in 1997 awarded a bronze medal by the Census Bureau for her dedication.
Her work demeanour has been described as friendly but reserved. Outside of work she, without doubt, knew how to enjoy herself, enjoying movies, music, sport, the theatre and entertaining.
She left behind her “longtime partner” Angela Lopez, whose Madonna “Drowned World” baseball cap she had borrowed on the morning she boarded Flight 93, that fateful morning on her way to a conference in San Francisco.